01 Jun '18, 1pm

How a Small Piece of Plastic Wrap Likely Killed a Harp Seal

A young harp seal that washed up dead on the Scottish Isle of Skye last Friday likely died of health complications after ingesting a small piece of plastic wrap, according to scientists who examined the animal. Scientists with the Scottish Marine Animal Strandings Scheme (SMASS) performed a necropsy on the animal and described it as an "unusual case" in a Facebook post Wednesday. First, Scotland is outside of the normal range for the Arctic harp seal. Secondly, death from plastic ingestion is rare for seals. "Plastic ingestion in cetaceans and seals is really rare," veterinary pathologist and SMASS head Andrew Brownlow told National Geographic , noting that entanglement from fishing nets or lines is usually the cause of most deaths. "They're intelligent animals that seem to be able to distinguish between plastic and prey." Brownlow, who wrote the Facebook post, said "it is...

Full article: https://www.ecowatch.com/harp-seal-plastic-wrap-death-257...

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