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Adorable baby seal orphans protected at crowded shelter

Peter Dejong / AP

Three seals in a tank wait to be fed at the Pieterburen seal creche, north of Groningen, in the Netherlands, on Thursday, Jan. 12.

Storms that lashed the Dutch coast this year have created a wave of orphaned baby seals, some so young their umbilical cords are still attached, wrenched from their mothers and washed up on beaches and dikes.

A seal rehabilitation and research center in the Netherlands has been so inundated with pups and older seals in recent weeks it has erected a temporary tent to house them while they are nurtured back to health before being returned to the wild.

Peter Dejong / AP

A volunteer feeds a seal a herring at the Pieterburen seal creche, north of the town of Groningen, northern Netherlands, on Thursday Jan. 12.

Catrinus Van Der Veen / AFP - Getty Images

Currently there are about 360 seals in the sanctuary. There's normally room for about 80 animals, so a tent containing bathtubs and small swimming pools was placed on the premises.

Peter Dejong / AP

Seals swim and rest in a tank at the Pieterburen seal creche on Thursday.