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Dead seal in Ängelholm puzzles - investigated by the Swedish Museum of Natural History

2020-02-21T22:43:53.326Z

Gray seals are very rare along the west coast of Sweden, but this week a dead and washed up on Vejbystrand outside Ängelholm was found. It was therefore sent to experts in Stockholm who can now reveal the cause of death.



It was a couple of weeks ago that marine biologist Kristin Johansson in Ängelholm was contacted about the unusual seal finding on Vejbystrand.

- What stood out, besides being a gray seal, was that the carcass was unusually fresh. Usually, dead sea creatures sink to the bottom and break down before they are eventually washed up on beaches, says Kristin Johansson.

The mysterious death was then sent to the Natural History Museum, which works with the health condition of the seal.

"This is the fourth find of gray seals from the Swedish west coast that we have received in 40 years," says Britt-Marie Bäcklin, first curator at the Swedish National Museum of Natural History and the one who has autopsied the gray seals.

One of the largest seal finds in Sweden

Where exactly the gray seal came from cannot be said with certainty. Natural history should now take DNA tests to see if it can belong to the population in the Baltic or Atlantic.

- But it is one of the largest gray seals we have found in Sweden. What we also discovered was that it was very lean and it is difficult to say why, there were tendencies to bowel movements that may have made it difficult to eat, says Britt-Marie Bäcklin.

Mysterious cause of death explained

How the gray seal died could not be seen with the naked eye, but the answer came only after autopsy.

- What we have been able to see is that it was shot in the skull, which we verified with x-ray. There was an entrance hole just under the eye, says Britt-Marie Bäcklin.

See the possible explanation for the gray seal's violent death in the clip above.

Source: svt

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