Andre the Seal’s Trainer Dead at 74
ROCKPORT, Maine (AP) _ Harry Goodridge, whose 25-year friendship with Andre the seal captivated people in New England and beyond, has died. He was 74.
Goodridge, a tree surgeon and professional scuba diver, dead at a Rockport hospital Wednesday. The cause of death was not given.
Over the years, Andre’s antics delighted fans who followed his annual spring swim from his winter home in southern New England to Rockport Harbor.
Goodridge found Andre in 1961 as a 2-day-old pup apparently abandoned by its mother.
During the summers, Andre was kept in a floating pen and entertained thousands of summer visitors by performing a repertory of tricks with Goodridge.
But when Andre was allowed to run free in the winter, his habit of clambering aboard anchored dinghies and sinking them annoyed fishermen, prompting Goodridge to ship his pal to aquariums in Boston or Mystic, Conn., for the winter.
With the end of winter, the seal was released for a swim back up the coast to Rockport that became an annual event.
Andre died in 1986 after he was spotted with bruises apparently suffered in a fight with another male seal. The 5-foot, 250-pound seal was buried in a pasture behind Goodridge’s home.
″Many seals may live longer but few live as full a life as Andre,″ Goodridge said at the time.
Goodridge is survived by his wife, Thalice, a son and four daughters.
A funeral service will be held Saturday.