Late last year, a pretty ginger (light brown fur, to be exact) seal was abandoned by her shiny black seal family on Tyuleniy Island in Russia. This little female seal has light blue eyes and golden-brown fur, which has caused the colony to ostracize the animal for her unusual coloring.
Photographer Anatoly Strakhov discovered this lonely seal on a cold beach hiding beneath a pile of logs while waiting for her mother to provide food. The photographer was happy to have located such a unique animal, but soon found that she appeared to be virtually blind and wouldn’t be able to survive on her own without the seal colony. Although ostracizing red-haired neighbors has been covered in mediums ranging from South Park to master’s degree dissertations, it’s a phenomenon rarely seen in the animal kingdom.
Fortunately, Strakhov was walking along the beach with a group from a Russian dolphinarium and they transported this lucky little seal 7,890 miles, where she was given the name Nafanya. The ginger colored seal has now become a popular tourist attraction at the Akvatoria dolphinarium.
According to the news site, Zoo Manager, Yulia Frolova, released a report stating that “She now has a special enclosure with a pool, and two weeks after her arrival, people are already coming to see her.” This is happy news for this unique creature and for the fans that were rooting for her survival after the heartbreaking pictures of Nafanya were posted. The once-lonely little ginger seal now has a human family to love her.
Nafanya, who was named after a cartoon character that she resembles on Russian television networks, is eating well and keeping her human helpers happy with her pleasant attitude. She has a blue ball that she plays with, and the little seal is unafraid of people. Jotzoom stated that the zoo has even added a personal web cam and now her fans can keep an eye on her during the day.
Furthermore, staff members at the zoo discovered that she can actually see pretty well and it’s only the bright sunlight that affects her vision. Nafanya hasn’t had a chance to make friends with her fellow seals in the zoo because she is under quarantine for a month, but after her seclusion ends, she will be allowed to socialize. Yulia said “We will make sure she has a happy life in our dolphinarium.”