Aquarium Manager spends Christmas Day looking after turtles and sharks at Blackpool Sea Life Centre

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An aquarium manager spent his 16th Christmas Day in a row caring for sea-turtles, sharks and sting-rays at Blackpool Sea Life Centre.

Scott Blacker, 43, celebrated Christmas dressed as Santa and feeding sharks, seahorses, jellyfishes and stingrays.

Instead of unwrapping gifts, he scrubbed Phoenix the turtle's back and let her chase sprouts around her habitat.

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And he even slept at the Sea Life resort in Blackpool on Christmas Eve so he could wake up with his much-loved creatures.

Scott Blacker spent his 16th Christmas Day at Blackpool Sea Life Centre (Credit: SeaLife Blackpool / SWNS)Scott Blacker spent his 16th Christmas Day at Blackpool Sea Life Centre (Credit: SeaLife Blackpool / SWNS)
Scott Blacker spent his 16th Christmas Day at Blackpool Sea Life Centre (Credit: SeaLife Blackpool / SWNS) | SeaLife Blackpool / SWNS

But Scott, who has worked at the aquarium since 1998, says it's a "privilege" to spend the festive day with the animals.

He said: "It's a privilege working Christmas Day as it is the only day of the year SEA LIFE Blackpool closes and we get the animals all to ourselves.

"There's not many people who can say they get to spend December 25 with magnificent sea creatures.

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"As on any other day, the animals' welfare is our top priority.

"Although, in the main it is business as usual - feeding the animals and undertaking their enrichment programmes.

"It has become tradition for me to dress up as Santa and sing a few carols and Christmas songs to the sea creatures - 'We wish you a Merry Fishmas' is very popular."

Scott says it's a "privilege" to spend the festive day with the animals (Credit: SeaLife Blackpool / SWNS)Scott says it's a "privilege" to spend the festive day with the animals (Credit: SeaLife Blackpool / SWNS)
Scott says it's a "privilege" to spend the festive day with the animals (Credit: SeaLife Blackpool / SWNS) | SeaLife Blackpool / SWNS

Fellow aquarist Dale Smith, 30, joined Scott at the aquarium earlier today and the pair will spend the morning together, before going home for Christmas dinner.

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They will then return later on today, where they will do a final check of the animals.

Scott said: "Dale and I will be at the centre from 9am until 1pm.

"We’ll then head home to our families for Christmas dinner before returning for another couple of hours in the afternoon to undertake our final checks and turn off the lights."

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