Have You Ever Heard the Crazy Story of Hoover, Maine’s Talking Seal?
Andre really is Maine's most famous seal.
Every Maine resident, at least up to a certain age, all know who Andre the Seal was. I even had a stuffed animal version of Andre from when I went to see him in Rockport when I was a kid. By then it was the 80's and Andre sadly passed just a few years after I saw him. He'd travel back and forth annually between Rockport and aquariums in Boston and Mystic, Connecticut.
His story is amazing, and was even made into a movie. When I read Andre's story, it actually chokes me up a bit because I love animals so much. So many cared for Andre and seemed to have a vested interest in his comings and goings. But Andre is not Maine's only famous seal...
Do you know about Hoover?
In the early 70's, a man from Cundy's Harbor found an abandoned seal pup. It's mother was found dead a short way away, so Scottie Dunning decided to keep the pup. Much like Andre, Dunning started out keeping the pup in his tub and eventually in a special pen in the yard. Hoover got his name by the insanely fast way he would consume fish... Like a vacuum. Hence, the name Hoover.
When it got strange, was when Dunning noticed that Hoover was making vocal sounds that sounded an awful lot like words. It sounded like he was saying "Hello there" and "Get over here!" Which were phrases Dunning often said to Hoover. Don't believe me?Check it out. It's almost spooky... Not to mention, well documented.
Eventually, the Hoove had to move...
Hoover got to be too much for the Dunning family to handle on account of his enormous size, and his enormous appetite. He was eventually taken to the New England Aquarium in Boston, where Hoover lived until his passing in the mid 80's. At the time, Dunning tried to explain to them about Hoover's odd habit of speaking, but no one believed him.
A few years later when Hoover became comfortable in his home, he started talking to people at the aquarium. They couldn't believe it. Hoover had his same few words down. Even right down to Dunning's thick Maine accent. Amazing, right? So even though Hoover wasn't as famous as Andre, he certainly deserves a big spot in Maine's history.
You'll have to double check if seals made it to these lists...
You're Breaking The Law In Maine If You Have Any Of These Animals As Pets
Gallery Credit: Getty Images
13 Animals You Can Actually Own in Maine That Might Surprise You
LOOK: 20 of the biggest insects in the world
Gallery Credit: Andrea Vale