Rejected Ginger Seal Pup Finds A Home, Gets Webcam
A ginger-haired seal pup who was rejected from her black seal tribe has a new home at the Akvatoria dolphinarium in Adler, Russia.
Nature photographer Anatoly Strakhov first took pictures of the animal on Russia's Tyuleniy Island in September, according to ABC News. The photographer told the Daily Mail, "the poor seal is almost blind and so was unlikely to survive in the wild."
Since then, images of the rare albino creature -- dubbed Nafanya -- have circulated the globe, spurring an outpouring of sympathy from the public.
"She now has a special enclosure with a pool, and two weeks after her arrival, people are already coming to see her," Yulia Frolova, head of the dolphinarium, told the Daily Mail. "She has a good appetite, and always seems in a happy mood. She is such an unusual seal with very beautiful bright blue eyes."
Though Nafanya is in quarantine for a month and can't play with fellow animals at the center just yet, the pup will be making plenty of virtual friends thanks to a webcam that will document her day to day living.
Other seals have been struggling as well. Hawaiian monk seals are listed as "critically endangered" on the IUCN Red List, possibly due in part to competition with fisheries over food, entanglement in nets, and habitat loss from rising sea levels.
An unknown disease has been killing ringed seals in Alaska, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration proposed last year listing the animal as threatened due to projected losses from climate change.