From Rags to Fishes: Exiled Albino Seal Finds Home Among Humans

Once called The World’s Loneliest Seal, Nafanya thrives in Russian aquarium.

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From Rags to Fishes: Exiled Albino Seal Finds Home Among Humans
This adorable orphaned seal has finally found a home. (Photo: Anatoly Strakhov/Caters)

Before she became Nafanya, beloved pinniped of the Russian people and star of her own live webcam broadcast, the blue-eyed, rust-colored creature was known only as the Loneliest Seal in the World.

The Daily Mail reports that only two months ago, “ginger”-colored Nafanya was shunned by her all-black seal colony on the Russian island of Tyuleniy.

Photographer Anatoly Strakhov snapped heartbreaking photos of the forlorn seal cowering under a pile of logs, unable to survive without the support and guidance of flippered breathren.

Now Nafanya, named after a Soviet-era cartoon character, lives in an aquarium on the Russian mainland. 

Yulia Frolova, head of the Akvatoria aquarium, says playful, friendly Nafanya has quickly adapted to life among people.

“She has a good appetite, and always seems in a happy mood. She is such an unusual seal with very beautiful bright blue eyes. When she arrived, she was tired after the long flight, but soon picked up her appetite.”

Though still in month-long quarantine, Nafanya will soon swim among the aquarium’s other creatures. Frolova believes that Nafanya’s loneliness will be a thing of the past. “We will make sure she has a happy life in our dolphinarium.”