A wildlife photographer in California managed to capture an intense battle between a hungry seal and its octopus prey, documenting the life-or-death struggle which ensued.
Andrew Lee managed to film the conflict while at the Bolsa Chica Wetlands in Huntington Beach, California, according to the Mirror. Attempting at first to photograph pelicans, he was surprised when a seal entered the inlet, chasing the birds away. After filming the seal, Lee decided to attempt to get one more shot before leaving, hoping to catch the animal hunting, and his efforts did not go unrewarded.
“I could see that the seal was diving down then surfacing, again and again, as if he was fighting with something. It turned out it was an octopus that the seal just caught,” he recalled. “The octopus wrapped himself tightly around the seal’s face: his eight tentacles completely covered the seal’s nose and mouth – I thought I was seeing some kind of sea monster. The epic battle lasted a while as the seal tried desperately to position the octopus to swallow.”
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As the Daily Mail reports, the octopus had no intention of being quietly made into a meal, using every method at its disposal to fend off the ravaging seal.
“The octopus, to his credit, fought hard not to be beaten (and eaten), clinging and wrapping his tenacious tentacles with big suckers around the seal,” Lee said. “I had never witnessed anything like this before. The seal continually dived then surfaced then dived again in an effort to dislodge the octopus. He finally succeeded and was able to grab hold of one of the octopus’s tentacles.”
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The octopus put up such an animated fight that the seal was unable to eat it alive. Viciously attacking the smaller animal, the seal flung the octopus around, eventually succeeding in killing it. The seal tossed the dead octopus into the air, swallowing it in a single gulp, according to Lee.
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Earlier this month, a seal pup in Antarctica was filmed using a human being as a pillow for a nap that lasted two hours. As the Inquisitr previously reported, though they can weigh as much as an adult man, seal pups pose little threat to observers.
Lee related that he was left speechless after the experience, and felt both excited and lucky to have witnessed the battle between the seal and its octopus prey.
[Image: Andrew J. Lee/ Solent News via the Daily Mail]