Watch: Seal tries to hide between mussel lines to avoid killer whales

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Survival of the fittest in the animal world is nothing new, but netizens are always fascinated whenever a pursuit in the wild comes to light. The last hunting game that hooks everyone online is somewhere between a seal and a pod of orcas or killer whales.

Off a coast in Scotland, a port a seal was seen seeking refuge of a pod of killer whales foraging within the confines of a blue mussel farm in the ocean. The biting thriller caught on a drone camera in Shetland as part of marine research has now had everyone talking online.

Drone video shows the much smaller seal than killer whales doing its best to hide between two lines of ropes at Grunna Voe Farm north of Lerwick. However, his attempt to fool predators remains futile.

The drone captures the intense moment when the seal tries to swim quickly between the lines and hide under the upper floats. But the killer whales are seen hiding outside the lines waiting for the seal to make a mistake.

Eventually the prey left the ropes and was grabbed and killed by the pod after leaving its hiding place for open water.

The hunting session captured by drone operator Nick McCaffrey was analyzed by Emily Hauge, a PhD student who studies the impact of structures such as fish farms and offshore energy developments on marine animals.

Although McCaffrey captured the footage in March, it garnered wider attention and went viral after Hague’s analysis of the incident was published in the latest edition of the Aquatics Mammals journal earlier this week.

According news from heaven, the local drone operator captured 38 minutes of the dramatic chase which focused on his cover-up. But the predators pounced when the seal ventured out of safety, swiftly dispatching their prey.

“Interactions involving man-made structures are rarely, if ever, filmed,” Hague said. BBC News. “That makes this sequence very special and very insightful from a scientific point of view,” added the researcher from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh.

While she said it was “fascinating” that these structures also had the ability to potentially be used by prey to hide from predators, she also pointed to their sad impact, Newsweek reported.

“Knowing whether marine species interact with, avoid or adapt to such structures is essential to ensure that further development of marine environments does not compromise marine species conservation goals,” Hague said in a study published in the review.

In her study, she also discussed the implications of these man-made structures, including a potential risk of entanglement and human-modified “landscapes of fear.”

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