Seals off the coast of Britain appear to have developed a taste for larger live animals, after a series of grisly videos showed them killing and feeding on porpoises. Experts are concerned they could turn on human swimmers.
Nobody understands why seals have been attacking and eating porpoises, a type of behavior never seen before in British waters. However, zoologists say killer seals have been reported in other parts of the world.
In one video footage, captured off the coast of Pembrokeshire, south west Wales, one can see a male seal ripping chunks of flesh from a porpoise it had just killed.
Grey seals are large animals. Males can reach up to 45 stone in weight.
Metro quoted Dafydd Rees, who shot the video, who said “I have never seen anything like it before.”
Dr. Tony Stringell, of the Environment Agency Wales, insisted that people must not panic, but added that they should keep their distance when they spot a seal. ‘‘We observed this happening on four separate occasions off the coast of Pembrokeshire,” he said.
Why are porpoises washing up dead?
Recently, ecologists have been at a loss to explain why hundreds of porpoises washed up dead. They say the recent video footage supports a Dutch study claiming the seals were behind the killings.
If aggressive, grey seals should be considered as fearsome animals. They can grow up to 10 feet long and weigh from 170 to 310 kg (370 to 680 lbs).
The Daily Express quoted Mardik Leopold, from the Institute for Marine Resources and Ecosystem Studies in the Netherlands, who said:
“Many of the mutilated porpoises were found on Dutch shores used frequently by human bathers and surfers and there would appear to be no reason why humans may not be at risk from grey seal attacks.”
Experts believe it is only a matter of time before the current bizarre grey seal behavior results in an attack on a human being.
Some marine biologists suggest seals are having to compete more for food.
Video – Grey seal feasting on a porpoise carcass