Seagulls are efficient predators and even better scavengers. In recent years, these opportunistic feeders have been documented gulping down squirrels, swallowing rats, and devouring pigeons whole. But a particularly ambitious gull bit off more than it could safely chew recently when it tried to snatch a snack from a hungry seal. And, of course, the brutal scene that ensued was captured in its entirety on cell-phone video.
The popular @natureismetal Instagram page shared the clip earlier today and credited the footage to a user called @mrmrsnavarrete. It shows a seal breaching the surface as an unseen person on a pier tosses something into the sea. As a the seal swims toward the presumably edible item, a gull swoops in and tries to claim it for itself. That’s when the powerful pinniped latches onto the bird’s head and begins to thrash.
With a few swift turns of its large, muscular neck, the seal easily severs the bird’s head and sends the rest of its lifeless body flying. It’s a violent scene made even more disturbing by the audible reactions of the people on the pier. “Oh my God,” shreeks one woman, three or four times in a row. When the camera zooms back in on the gull, blood can be seen streaming from its neck.
The video, which has garnered more than 65,000 likes and elicited some 1,700 comments at the time of this writing, shows the raw power that seals have at their disposal when hunting or defending prey. According to the Marine Mammal Center, Pacific harbor seals—one of 33 seal species worldwide—can grow to six feet in length and weigh up to 300 pounds.
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Experts say you should never feed seals—and definitely don’t approach them. “There is a real urge to want to pet and hold them,” then director of the Friends of the Sea Lion Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach, California John Cunningham told the LA Times in a 1985 article about baby sea lions biting people on California beaches. Cunningham went on the warn that “a healthy 200-to-300-pound sea lion has the (jaw) power of four Dobermans.”
Need proof? Here are three videos of seals behaving aggressively.
Seals Charges Fisherman
Watch a Leopard Seal Puncture a Sea-Going Raft with its Jaws
Seal Attacks Swimmer
Source link: https://www.fieldandstream.com/survival/watch-a-seal-behead-a-seagull/ by Travis Hall at www.fieldandstream.com