Video Credit: AsiaWire
These are the distressing scenes which greeted tourists at an aquarium where a seal died after trapping its head in a drainage hole.
Visitors of the spotted seal (Phoca largha) exhibit at Sun Asia Ocean World, which is in the coastal city of Dalian in north-eastern China’s Liaoning Province, found the animal lifeless and floating upright in the water.
Footage taken on 29th December shows other spotted seals in the large tank attempting to nudge the motionless seal free by swimming around its body.
A staff member in a wetsuit later enters the water, and horrified tourists watch as he tries in vain to yank the dead seal out of the drain by pulling repeatedly on its flippers.
Sun Asia Ocean World confirmed in a statement on 30th December that the spotted seal had died as a result of the accident, despite its handlers efforts.
The incident occurred after the animal removed the cover with its mouth and claws. It was then sucked into the water circulation drain head first, the aquarium said.
According to reports, the seal’s head was only freed from the drain after the system was shut off.
The aquarium said the animal was born and bred in captivity, adding that its handlers were “saddened” by the incident, which it has promised to investigate.
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