Judi Dench has received the seal of approval from a British wildlife charity.
The acclaimed British actor met a gray seal pup named after her when she visited the Cornish Seal Sanctuary in Gweek, England, last month, the organization shared in a press release this week.
Dench, 88, was in the region with family on Sept. 22 and decided to stop by the sanctuary. The facility took in an injured and dehydrated female pup the same day.
“It was like fate,” sanctuary fundraising manager Leanne Atwood said in the release. “It just so happened that, as Dam Judi and her family explored the Sanctuary, this pup was admitted to our Seal Hospital.”
Since the sanctuary’s theme for naming seals this season is “actors and actresses,” there was only one moniker choice 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 be able to meet pup Judi,” who is estimated to be about 3 weeks old.
A photo shows a scarf-clad Dench posing in front of a whiteboard that indicates another seal at the sanctuary is named Owen Wilson.
As for Judi, the seal, the sanctuary hopes to be able to release her back to the wild after she’s recovered.
Gray seals live in coastal areas along the North Atlantic Ocean, including Great Britain and Northern Europe, as well as eastern Canada and the northeastern United States. Wildlife experts on both sides of the ocean urge people to give seal pups space, noting that people often mistake the young critters for orphans when the mother is actually nearby. If a pup is clearly sick or injured, the general recommendation is to contact local wildlife authorities to help.