While we’re on the topic of whales, I’ve got something a little less whimsical for you all to suck on. Seagulls off the coast of Argentina have recently learned in large numbers how to attack Southern right whales when they come up to breathe at the surface of the water. When the whales emerge, the seagulls land on their backs and peck at their skin, opening up huge cankerous sores which then can become infected.
This seagull claimed to be conducting “scientific research” when questioned.
Big whoop, you yawn. But according to researchers, seagull attacks on these whales is up from 1% in 1974 to 78% today. Boo hoo, you say? Well the seagulls also launch 80% of their attacks on mothers who are nursing calves. You know…You pretend to be this big, heartless, tough guy, but really you’re just trying to keep down your feelings of abandonment because your father left you when you were six. Sorry, it’s true.
It’s about suppression.
The whales– who are attempting to live meagerly off their food stores at this time of the year– are having to spend hours in “evasive” maneuvers, burning precious calories. “They had their last meal several months ago and won’t feed for several more months so they should be conserving their energy, but the gulls drive them crazy,” Roger Payne, from the Ocean Alliance told the BBC.
The reason researchers are speculating that the seagulls have suddenly taken to attacking an endangered species is because of a string of fish processing plants and landfills that have sprung up on the Argentinian coastline in the last few decades. These, in turn, have led to an explosion in the seagull population.
The solution? Shooting the birds is apparently being discussed.