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article imageSeal escapes to hang out in swan lake in German zoo (video)

By Anne Sewell     Sep 1, 2013 in World
Karlsruhe - Lola, a young seal, is now a special attraction at Karlsruhe Zoo in Germany. She managed to escape from her enclosure and is hanging out in the swan lake. Apparently she's been there for three weeks, evading capture.
Two-year-old Zola is a rebel. She decided that the swan lake was a better place to live than her normal enclosure with the family.
Since escaping from her enclosure three weeks ago, she has been happily eating fish left out for her at the lake, but refuses to be caught.
The video (German language) shows Lola enjoying fish given to her by a zoo attendant, but she manages to evade capture each time.
According to staff at Karlsruhe Zoo, visitors now queue up to see Zola. The lake has boats, which are pulled across on a cable, and have become very popular with people trying to get a closer look at the rebel seal.
Apparently some have been lucky, but others not, as Zola generally hides out in a half-hidden corner of the lake.
One woman said, "We saw all sorts of things, turtles, big carp, but no seal," after taking a boat ride to spot her.
According to zookeeper Irene Schicker-Ney Lola normally waits for all the visitors to leave, then she dives into the water and has a swim around her spacious new home. Apparently gardeners at the zoo have spotted her sleeping in one of the little boats.
It seems her escape from her enclosure was relatively easy. She simply hopped down a drop of around a meter and then crossed a path, through some bushes, before slipping sneakily into the lake.
Deputy zoo director Clemens Becker told the media, "We think it was due to her curiosity."
However, Schicker-Ney said that maybe it is something that most teenagers would relate to - a hassle with her parents.
In the meantime, Zola is quite happy where she is and does not seem to have any plans on returning home. The zoo keepers are feeding her specially salted fish to compensate for the fact that she is swimming in fresh rather than salt water and say that she will return home when ready.
They say that the only danger is that she might lose her natural shyness and allow herself to be approached by visitors. As she is rather cute, they would not be able to resist trying to stroke her.
However, Schicker-Ney warns, "I wouldn't recommend anyone do that."
"Because they eat raw fish, seals have many bacteria in their mouths. If a snap led to a wound, it would very likely lead to blood poisoning."
More about Germany, Zoo, Karlsruhe Zoo, Seal, Escapes
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