However there are other cases of non fatal attacks on humans, which seem to be of predatory nature. She was dragged underwater, and autopsies showed multiple head wounds. The remaining carcass is then eaten. You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more. All rights reserved. National Geographic asked renowned wildlife photographer Paul Nicklen to photograph leopard seals, the most vicious species of seals on the planet. RIDERS MATCH - Best Extreme Videos. Image Credits: iStock . Her father, a retired shipbroker who worked at the Baltic Exchange in the City, said: 'Naturally, we are devastated - it all seems quite unreal. All the safety checks had been carried out and it was a freak accident.'. A third possibility is more worrying. They propel themselves using powerful fore-flippers, reaching speeds of 25 miles per hour (40 kilometers per hour). He said, "I think this inquisitiveness towards humans is to do with sizing them up as potential prey. Linda Capper, spokesperson for the BAS, said, "This was a completely unprecedented event. As well as having large canines for dealing with bigger prey, their cheek teeth are serrated, which enables them to strain krill from the water. It seems unrealistic that we are here and she is thousands of miles away. She was based at the Rothera Research Station, a centre for biology, geoscience and atmospheric science programmes. It closed its powerful jaws around my right leg, and I fell backward, shocked and helpless.". "Our scientists have been diving and snorkeling in Antarctica for over 30 years and we've never experienced anything like this.". Ian Boyd, director of the Sea Mammal Research Unit in Scotland, said, "There may be a process going on in Antarctica where these animals, because of their growing exposure to man, are becoming a greater danger.". BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! "So the seals are getting more opportunities to assess whether we're something they want to feed on.". The death of a British marine biologist in Antarctica last month is thought to be the first human fatality caused by a leopard seal (Hydrurga leptonyx). Although they are formidable hunters, leopard seals are solitary creatures and it is virtually unknown for them to attack humans. Doctors believe she drowned. Man-eating leopards have earned a reputation as being particularly bold and difficult to track. Leopard seals rank alongside killer whales as Antarctica's top predator. The leopard seal (Hydrurga leptonyx) is actually named for its spotted coat although it could have easily been for its fierce nature. There has also been one fatality, when a researcher was snorkelling in Antarctic waters and was killed by a 'Kirsty was committed to her science and had a promising career ahead of her,' he said. Play it now. And if one approaches them or is seen while they're working in the water then the advice is that they come out.". 2020 National Geographic Partners, LLC. ", And with more people going to Antarctica each year, he believes even greater care is needed. The death of an Antarctic marine scientist while snorkelling is the first time a leopard seal is known to have killed a human Gov.Cuomo 'skipped 17 White House meetings about COVID-19 vaccines and turned down a meeting with Health and Human Horror in the Antarctic as giant seal kills leopard seals are. It's an absolute tragedy.'. They mostly prey on fishes, krills, penguins and other birds but are known to be opportunistic hunters … Knowing they attack humans, Paul was understandably a bit hesitant to take on the project. Jebemex. GoPro Leopard Seal makes a hug with a Kayak. The BAS has now launched a full investigation into the incident. 23:21. They are definitely one of those animals best viewed from afar. No comments have so far been submitted. Chris Rapley, director of the British Antarctic Survey, said, "This is tragic and shocking. My heart goes out to Kirsty's family and her colleagues at Rothera. Professor Boyd said that Leopard Seal attacks on humans were extremely rare but warned that they may potentially become more common due to increased human presence in Antarctica. Until it opens its mouth to reveal sharp one-inch canines. Leopard Seal - The Behemoth of the Antarctic Waters. Leopard Seal Kills Adelie Penguin in Antarctica. They are solitary animals, spread out over millions of square miles of pack ice. But despite frantic efforts to revive her, the experienced diver was pronounced dead an hour later. And there's nothing complicated about the kill either. 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