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Baby seal takes her place with the colony

This baby seal which was left alone after her mother died has been allowed to swim with the rest of the colony despite being raised by keepers at Schönbrunn Zoo in Vienna.

Baby Lunita's mother Enya died shortly after she was born and it was uncertain whether the baby seal would survive after she had to be raised by humans.

But now head carer Thomas Voracek says that the baby is out of danger and weighs close to 30 kg. She is also and old enough to take a place with the other seals  – and Voracek said he was confident she was now old enough to remain with her relatives.

She was not completely isolated when being bottel fed – other female seals were allowed in to see her. Now she is feeding on fish getting through 3 kg of herring a day.

Zoo director Dagmar Schratter said: "We wanted her to get used to others of her kind, and it paid off. She was completely comfortable with the rest of the group and accepted."

During feeding time the youngster has little chance to compete on getting a fish from the water with her relatives and as a result gets a portion fed to her separately.

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