New Zealand kayaker's lost pictures found sealed in poop

February 6, 2019
A functioning USB stick was found by New Zealand scientists frozen in the droppings of a leopard seal

A team of New Zealand scientists sifting through a slab of frozen leopard seal droppings have found a USB stick containing photos of frolicking sea lions.

The droppings, known scientifically as "scat", had been stored in a freezer for about a year and were being defrosted during research on the fish-eating mammals.

They were originally collected in November 2017 by a vet sent to check on a sick seal on Oreti Beach on the southern tip of New Zealand's South Island.

"Concealed deep inside the scat was a USB stick," the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) said in a statement.

The was in reasonably good condition considering where it had come from, and after being left to dry out for a few weeks it was placed in a computer to reveal its secrets.

It contained photos of in a bay and a video of a mother sea lion and cub frolicking in the shallows.

The only clue to who might have taken them is the nose of a blue kayak.

"If they're yours and you want the USB stick back, it comes with a price. The leopard seal researchers would like some more leopard seal scat please," NIWA said.

Explore further: World's only captive leopard seal put down

Related Stories

World's only captive leopard seal put down

February 20, 2014

The world's only captive leopard seal, which washed up in Sydney with a shark bite to his abdomen seven years ago, has been put down at an Australian zoo, officials said Thursday.

Food habits of snow leopards

August 5, 2016

In order to create effective conservation programs to help protect and conserve populations of endangered snow leopards, whose estimated population is between 4,500-7,500 in the wild, University of Delaware researchers are ...

Recommended for you


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.