Judi Dench has received the seal of approval from a British animal welfare organization.
The acclaimed British actress met a gray seal pup named after her while visiting the Cornish Seal Sanctuary in Gweek, England, last month, the organization said said in a press release this week.
Dench, 88, was in the area with his family on Sept. 22 and decided to stop by the shrine. On the same day, the facility took in an injured and dehydrated dog.
“It was like fate,” Leanne Atwood, the sanctuary’s fundraising manager, said in the news release. “Coincidentally, this pup was admitted to our seal hospital while mother Judi and her family were exploring the sanctuary.”
Because the theme for naming seals at the shelter this season is “Actors and Actresses,” there was only one nickname for the female pup.
“We knew we just had to name her after Judi Dench, who was already on our list of name ideas,” Atwood said.
The actor was “so excited to meet puppy Judi,” who is estimated to be around three weeks old.
One photo shows a scarf-clad Dench posing in front of a plaque indicating that another seal in the sanctuary is named Owen Wilson.
As for Judi the seal, the sanctuary hopes to release her back into the wild once she recovers.
Gray seals live in coastal areas along the North Atlantic, including Great Britain and northern Europe, as well as eastern Canada and the northeastern United States. Wildlife experts At both sides of the Ocean are urging people to give seal pups space, pointing out that the young are often mistaken for orphans when their mother is actually nearby. If a puppy is clearly sick or injured, it is generally recommended to contact local wildlife authorities for assistance.