Rough patients. In South Africa, seals massively attack people – brain-damaging toxins are to blame (video)
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Researchers believe that marine animals were poisoned by fish and now suffer from brain disorders.< /p> Related video
The sandy beaches of South Africa attract a large number of tourists during the holiday season in the southern hemisphere in the summer, but this year everything did not go according to plan – doctors kept recording attacks of seals on people, writes the Daily Mail.
Several people are known to have been attacked by seals in Cape Town – here the animal attacked several adults, as well as a boy playing in shallow water. In addition, cases of attacks were also recorded on another beach on the Keil Peninsula – here the seals attacked a woman, and also tried to drag a submarine fisherman into the deep waters.
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Scientists were baffled by this behavior of marine animals, but after a series of studies, they were still able to understand the probable cause of the strange behavior of mammals. The fact is that, as a rule, seals do not show aggression towards people, if they are not provoked – all recorded cases of attacks were unprovoked, and therefore scientists were at a loss.
Researchers also found that in In Cape Town, the number of attacks by marine animals has increased after the mass death of seals on the coast. Scientists believe this is due to domoic acid, a naturally occurring neurotoxin produced by seaweeds during blooms. This neurotoxin accumulates in small fish and squid, after which they are eaten by predators.
Typically, algae bloom here for only a few weeks, but this year, climate change and pollution have made their adjustments – as a result, the toxic bloom, also called the “red tide”, has become longer and more.
According to Brett Glasby of the city's Two Oceans Aquarium Educational Foundation, because seals consume neurotoxin-poisoned fish, they are exposed to domoic poisoning, one of the symptoms of which is cerebral edema. Researchers believe that some of the seals died after poisoning and were washed ashore, but those who managed to survive faced brain damage.
Glasby suggests that seal attacks on humans are actually “defensive behavior “- the animals suffer from neuralgic damage, which causes them to rush at people.
Local authorities ask vacationers to be respectful of marine wildlife and watch their children in places where wild animals may also appear.< /p>