Seagulls are about the very last animal you’d think of when someone ask you to name something that might kill a full-size whale.
But that would just mean that weren’t keeping up on the events taking place out in the waters off the coast of Argentina.
Because trash isn’t covered or really being recycled on nearby land, the gull population has exploded in recent years. No one’s really sure when it started but with dead whales turning up on shore, researchers began noticing something a little unsettling…peck marks.
Seagulls are opportunists like vultures when it comes to an easy meal. At some point a gull realized that whales are pretty easy targets when they come up for air. Now that behavior has become the norm for thousands of these birds. During the calving season when babies whales are born the problem is exacerbated because baby whales need to stay up longer to feed off their mothers. Routines are changing because of the gulls and their relentless attacks…the calves feeding time is shortened. Calves bodies are washing up on shore suffering obvious effects of malnutrition.
Local government is allowing a cull of the birds within the month and targeting the birds who’ve developed this behavior. It’s been done before with no real change in the birds’ behavior.
Let’s all hope this gets sorted out…because once, and we’re just tossing this out there because we like to get hypothetical this way, we run out of whales…
We’ll probably be next.