Monday 23 April 2018

WATCH: 'Opportunistic' seal eats swan in Cork

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

This footage shows an "opportunistic" seal feeding on a swan following the cold snap.

Perhaps highlighting survival of the fittest, this clip shows the seal munching on the lifeless swan in George's Quay in Cork City on Monday.

Darragh O Shea as he walked over Parliament Bridge, who was taken aback by the unusual sight.

"I was on Parliament Bridge, connecting George’s Quay to Grand Parade in Cork City when I started recording the clip.

"I wasn’t too shocked as I had heard of seals doing that further up river, but it is unusual to see in person.

"I don't know if the seal killed it but I can’t recall ever seeing a dead swan floating along in the river", Darragh told Independent.ie.

Shannon Mone, from Seal Rescue Ireland, said that it is unusual for a seal to eat a swan.

She said: "They are opportunistic feeders so if something comes in close proximity to their face they will try to take a bite.

"It's unusual that it would eat a swan, so I'm guessing that it was very hungry.

"They mostly eat fish, squid, clams, crabs and things but it would be very unusual for it to go for a swan, although not unheard of."

She also told Independent.ie that the seal's food supply may not have been readily available following Storm Emma.

Ms Mone said: "The cold weather could have possibly impacted on this, the seals around here are not built to handle the weather we just encountered.

"As the winds changed, the ocean currents may have moved fish stocks away from where they usually are so the seal may been very hungry."

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