Sea Lion Escapes Repeatedly From Parents At German Zoo In Order To Hang Out With Swans

By Josh Lieberman on August 30, 2013 1:07 PM EDT

sea lion
Zola the sea lion has been escaping from her enclosure at Karlsruhe Zoo in order to chill with some swans. Zola isn't pictured here, but if you've seen one sea lion, you've seen them all. (Photo: Reuters)

A two-year-old sea lion at a German zoo has been repeatedly sneaking away from her parents in order to swim with the zoo's swans, presumably because her parents "don't get her."

"The swans get me," Zola the sea lion is probably thinking on her frequent forays into the sensitive world of the swan lake. "Parents just don't understand."

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"We just want to meet these new swan friends of yours," her parents are probably thinking. "What are their names? Is that so much to ask?"

For three weeks, Zola has been giving workers at Karlsruhe Zoo the run-around by slipping out of the enclosure she shares with her parents. Zola has become a popular attraction at the zoo, where visitors have been gathering to glimpse her with her new swan friends.

"We saw all sorts of things, turtles, big carp, but no seal," said one woman who tried to spot Zola, and who is decidedly not impressed by big carp.

Zoo workers said that the shy sea lion tends to hang out in a partially hidden corner of the swan area -- where all the cool kids hang -- only venturing out to swim in the lake at night, when the visitors have gone home and the emo lion seal can just do her thing without being judged.

Like parents of a wayward teenager, zoo workers have attempted to lure Zola back home with the prospect of a nice home-cooked meal. The Karlsruhe Zoo staff has begun leaving out extra-salty raw fish to get Zola to return to the old sea lion homestead, but the sea lion is like, "That old trick," before taking off in a convertible with her swan pals.

Zoo director Gisela von Hegel told a German news site that she's confident the wayward seal will come to appreciate the love of her parents and return home.

"She'll come back to the enclosure by herself -- it happens with us every now and again, that the seals slip away," von Hegel said. (Or something along those lines -- that's Google-translated German).

For the time being, the sensitive sea lion is chilling in her hidden corner of the swan lake, hanging with those who get where she's coming from. As Zola struggles with her place in the world, here are some songs she would probably listen to, if only she could.

ZOLA THE SEA LION'S PLAYLIST

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