Man mauled by South African lion, graphic video shows

The owner of a private South African game reserve is intensive care Tuesday after being mauled by one of his own lions in a shocking incident captured on video.

Footage posted on News24’s website shows a man, identified as the owner of a reserve in Limpopo, being chased by the lion Monday before getting dragged by his neck.

“Help! Help! Help!” a bystander is heard screaming in the video as the man’s body is pulled through the grass. “Get a rifle, somebody get a rifle just in case.”

GIANT ALLIGATOR NEARLY THE SIZE OF A CAR STOPS TRAFFIC ON TEXAS HIGHWAY

The man appeared to make it to the gate of the lion’s enclosure when the animal pounced. Intermittent gunshots are also heard throughout the footage, although it does not appear that the lion was struck.

“Somebody help, please,” a sobbing woman is heard saying.

A police spokesperson told the Associated Press that the man suffered jaw and neck injuries and is intensive care. The attack is currently being investigated and it is not immediately clear what caused the animal to snap.

Utah family finds remains of ancient horse in backyard

A Utah family working on a landscaping project unearthed the fossil remains of an ancient horse dating back more than 2 million years.

Family members were digging in the backyard of their Lehi home, about 30 miles south of Salt Lake City, when they discovered the skeleton, FOX13 Salt Lake City reported Sunday. Unclear about what they were looking at, the family called Rick Hunter, a paleontologist with the Museum of Ancient Life.

“It’s an ice age animal here in Utah Valley, right here in Lehi—pretty rare thing,” Hunter told FOX13.

THIS 3,000 YEAR-OLD HORSE GOT A HUMAN STYLE BURIAL

“It’s really rare. This was under the water of Lake Bonneville back at that time, and so for terrestrial animals to be in there, something special had to happen,” he added.

Hunter said he knew the skeleton didn’t belong to a mammoth when he first got a glimpse of the discovery. The paleontologist suspects it’s the remains of an ancient Shetland pony based on the skeletal details.

“We don’t know how this horse got there,” Hunter said. “It’s fun to speculate and say maybe a predator was chasing him along the shoreline, horses can swim, maybe escaped that way and was unable to make it back in.”

Hunter said despite the horse’s head being missing, the fossil was still a great find. He and other paleontologists are still piecing together the details.

“We know that he was covered very quickly, because the articulation of the bones was so perfect that that had to happen to hold everything in place before it decomposed,” he said.

Katherine Lam is a breaking and trending news digital producer for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @bykatherinelam

Multiple deer shot with arrows through head, body; Oregon police searching for suspect

At least two deer were discovered wandering around Friday with arrows sticking through their bodies, prompting authorities in Oregon to offer a reward for information that could lead to an arrest.

Oregon State Police said in a news release that authorities were called to the Shady Cove area, located about 50 miles from the California border, to investigate a live deer that was shot with an arrow still stuck in the animal.

Troopers learned the deer was able to feed and still walk around, but they were unable to locate the animal.

WARNING: GRAPHIC PHOTOS BELOW

Oregon Deer 4

One of the deer discovered by an Oregon State Police officer had an arrow through its head.

 (Oregon State Police)

Hours later, a trooper that evening found two deer that had arrows protruding from them, with one going through the animal’s head.

“The injuries to the deer did not appear to be life threatening,” police said. “Additional information was received that there might actually be a third deer with an arrow stuck in it.”

Oregon Deer 3

The deer were discovered in Shady Cove, located in the southern part of Oregon.

 (Oregon State Police)

A reward is being offered by the Oregon Hunters Association for any information leading to an arrest in this or any other wildlife case.

Anyone with information is asked to call the anonymous tip line at 1-800-452-7888 or by calling Oregon State Police dispatch at 541-776-6111.

Travis Fedschun is a reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @travfed

Gruesome ‘Game of Thrones’ massacre site reveals its grisly secrets

Archaeologists have unearthed details of a gruesome fifth-century massacre that has drawn comparisons with HBO’s hit television series “Game of Thrones.” The mysterious site, long thought to be “cursed,” is now revealing its horrific history.

The excavations at the Sandby borg fort on the Baltic island of Öland offer “a unique snapshot of domestic life and abrupt death,” according to researchers, who published their findings in the journal Antiquity.

“The harrowing events of the mass murder at Sandby borg are witnessed by the skeletal remains of villagers, surrounded by the seemingly panicked scatter of precious possessions and remnants of half-eaten food,” they said, in a statement. “So traumatic was the incident, or so feared were the attackers, that the fort, with dead lying where they fell and livestock dying of starvation in their pens, was left largely untouched; a cursed site shunned until the excavations began.”

GRUESOME MYSTERY: 8,000-YEAR-OLD SKULLS FOUND IMPALED ON WOODEN STAKES

Archaeologists from the Bohuslans Museum and the Kalmar County Museum report that the site contains at least 26 skeletons, including children. The bones were found inside the remains of houses and sprawled across the fort’s main street, indicating that a massacre took place at Sandby borg.

SandyBorg1

Analysis of a skull found at the massacre site

 (Daniel Lindskog © 2018)

“Several show signs of violent attack, with the position of some suggestive of instant death, and others displaying signs of a more lingering demise,” the experts explain.

In one house, experts found the charred skeletal remains of an elderly man who fell motionless, either dead or unconscious, onto an open fireplace.

ANCIENT TOMB FOUND NEAR SWEDEN’S ‘STONEHENGE’

In one house, nine skeletons were found, two of which were partially burned, hinting that the attackers may have attempted to burn the structure down. The house also contained the skeleton of a youth aged between 12 and 15, who appears to have fallen onto the body of another victim after being attacked.

SandyBorg2

An ornate silver brooch discovered at Sandby borg

 (Daniel Lindskog © 2018)

Remains of food were also discovered next to the house’s hearth, supporting the theory that the mysterious attackers caught the fort’s inhabitants by surprise.

Most of the skeletons found lack “defensive wounds” that are typically found on hands and forearms, according to the archaeologists. “This pattern leads us to conclude that the perpetrators comprised a large number of people, striking simultaneously in several houses, and that several of the victims were not in a position to defend themselves,” the study’s authors explain.

VIKING TREASURES DISCOVERED: ‘THOR’S HAMMER’ AMONG SILVER HAUL FOUND ON BALTIC ISLAND

An apparent lack of looting at Sandby borg adds another layer of mystery to the massacre. Experts found silver brooches and pendants, imported glass beads, cowrie shells from the Mediterranean or Black Sea, as well as a Roman gold coin.

SandyBorg3

The apparent lack of looting at the massacre site has baffled experts

 (Daniel Lindskog © 2018)

While the specific circumstances surrounding the attack are unknown, archaeologists note that the late fifth century was a time of great upheaval. While Roman control did not reach as far Scandinavia, the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in 476 A.D. sent shockwaves through neighboring regions.

“A social and economic crisis can be identified in various areas of Scandinavia during this time, as indicated by an abrupt decline in settlement activities, with numerous examples of farms being deserted or even destroyed during this time,” explained the researchers, in their paper. “The assault on Sandby borg may have been the result of subsequent power struggles on the island, at a time when the political map and power structures were being rewritten across the European continent.”

VIKING SWORD DISCOVERY: HUNTER FINDS 1,100-YEAR-OLD WEAPON ON NORWEGIAN MOUNTAIN

The macabre discovery at Sandby borg is just the latest in a series of fascinating archaeological finds in Sweden. In a separate project at Kanaljorden in central Sweden, archaeologists uncovered mysterious 8,000-year-old skulls mounted on wooden stakes that shed new light on grisly Stone Age rituals.

The remains of an ancient tomb have also been found at a site dubbed “Sweden’s Stonehenge.”

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

Great white shark Hilton, 1,326-pound real life ‘Jaws,’ spotted off Gulf Coast

A real life “Jaws” named Hilton was spotted in the Gulf of Mexico just west of the Florida Keys this week. The great white shark, a Twitter celebrity with more than 22,000 followers, was tagged by OCEARCH —a non-profit organization that researches great white sharks and other apex predators.

OCEARCH researchers have been following the 12-foot great white’s route since March 2017 when they tagged the shark near Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Hilton, weighing in at 1,326 pounds, is fitted with a tag that pings to transmit his location when his fins break the surface.

The shark has traveled up and down along the coasts of the Atlantic Ocean — from Nova Scotia to Florida — but he’s never been seen in the Gulf of Mexico before. He’s been in the waters for nearly two weeks now.

“Since then he’s made his way toward the Florida panhandle, a famous fishing ground for sport fishermen. No doubt Hilton’s doing a little fishing of his own, chowing down on the many fish of the canyon and shelf region there,” Dr. Robert Hueter, OCEARCH chief science advisor and mote marine laboratory senior sientist, said in an online statement.

According to OCEARCH, Hilton’s last “ping” was recorded on Friday at 11:49 a.m. The shark has traveled nearly 80 miles in the past 24 hours and a total of 10,029 miles since he was first tagged.

“After spending last spring near the shelf and canyons off North Carolina, Hilton is spending this spring further south, along the Florida Escarpment and DeSoto Canyon in the Gulf,” Dr. Bryan Franks of Jacksonville University explained, according to an OCEARCH Facebook post. “The common factor: those interesting bottom features that likely hold a nice buffet of food and a range of water temperatures.”

The sighting sparked hilarious comments from Hilton fans across the world.

“Maybe he’s headed to Mexico for Cinco de Mayo!” one Facebook user wrote.

“Hilton, what are you doing way over there in the gulf? How did you travel across land in Florida? Inquiring minds want to know! Come back to South Carolina. We miss you!” another wrote.

“Looks like he took a side trip to Disneyworld! Hope Ariel is safe!” one user joked.

Hilton greeted his fans on Twitter Friday.

“Hello Florida! Anyone know where I can find some fish?” the shark’s account tweeted.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Sharks, crocodile spotted feasting on whale in ‘rare’ drone video

Sharks and a saltwater crocodile went on a feeding frenzy about a mile off the coast of Western Australia — and the “rare” event was caught on tape.

A drone captured the predators feasting side-by-side on a 16-foot hump-back whale carcass floating near a sandbar off Montgomery Reef. It was the first time sharks and a croc had been documented foraging together.

Dr. Austin Gallagher, chief scientist and CEO of Beneath the Waves, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization working to protect the world’s oceans, says he’s been studying sharks for more than a decade but he’d never seen anything quite like this.

“It’s very rare to actually see these two groups of animals overlapping,” Gallagher told Fox News on Thursday.

The shark expert spotted the video, posted by an Australian charter company, on Facebook back in September. Since he has studied the scavenging of whales in the past, which, he notes, is an “important part of their ecosystem,” Gallagher decided to do some research.

“Every minute is life or death for animals in the wild … So to see croc get out there and get into mix is pretty impressive. It shows how valuable free food is to a top predator.”

– Dr. Austin Gallagher

He reached out to the charter company to get more details about the encounter and recruited two colleagues to help investigate. The researchers then wrote about their observations in a paper, which was recently published in the “Journal of Ethology.”

“Sharks are a difficult group of organisms to study. They move around quite a bit large, they’re dangerous to work with and the concealing nature of the ocean environment makes studying them really challenging,” Gallagher said. “But sometimes these really unique instances occur — and we learn a lot of information in a short period of time.”

A rotting whale carcass creates a huge pulse of odors and fumes that species like sharks can easily pick up on. The predators have a “renowned” sense of smell, Gallagher says, and the dead creature can bring in animals from hundreds of miles away.

“Up to 40 great whites have been seen at once on one carcass,” Gallagher said.

A crocodile joined four tiger sharks as they feasted on a dead whale in Australia.

 (Courtesy Dr. Austin Gallagher/Journal of Ethology)

In this case, there were only four tiger sharks and one 13-foot crocodile spotted eating the whale, though hundreds of teeth marks on the whale’s body suggest there were likely even more.

Thanks to Australia’s “dramatic tidal cycles,” the whale was swept in closer to shore — within range of the croc, which traveled about 3,280 feet to reach the meal.

“Every minute is life or death for animals in the wild, something we forget as humans. So to see croc get out there and get into mix is pretty impressive,” Gallagher added. “It shows how valuable free food is to a top predator.”

When it comes to scavenging whale carcasses, sharks are typically pretty laid back. They all get a chance to feast, though Gallagher says there is occasionally a pecking order based on size.

“They usually play nice with one another. There’s enough food to go around and a lightbulb goes off, ‘It’s good for me, it’s good for everybody — let’s just do this,'” Gallagher said.

But when the crocodile encroached on their meal, at least one of the sharks didn’t seem to have that mentality.

“A tiger shark made brief contact with the crocodile, appearing to splash the water with its tail, likely in an effort to deter the crocodile from the region,” the study reads. “After this inter-action, the shark quickly abandoned the region, after which the crocodile buried its head into the cavity of the whale, presumably in an effort to find more desirable pieces of flesh.”

Gallagher said the croc seemed relatively unphased by the interaction, crawling onto the pectoral fin between feeding bouts. If the shark did end up agitating the croc, it’s unclear what would have happened.

“These are apex predators, and as impressive and incredible as they are, our top predators are in trouble and they’re threatened.”

– Dr. Austin Gallagher

“It’s impossible to know who would win in that battle for sure. I would say that would be a fight that a shark wouldn’t want to engage with … a croc has pretty tough skin,” Gallagher said.

It’s important to study the behaviors of top predators, which keep the ecosystem healthy, Gallagher said. He realizes this particular case may not result in protective measures, but he hopes it creates a spark of inspiration.

“These are apex predators, and as impressive and incredible as they are, our top predators are in trouble and they’re threatened,” he warned. “They’re experiencing declines worldwide. It’s my hope that these fascinating reports can inspire people to want to become advocates for their protection.”

Incredible Revolutionary War journal surfaces, detailing POW’s escape from British prison ship

A young American sailor’s journal detailing his harrowing experiences during the Revolutionary War has been donated to the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia.

Born in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1764, Christopher Hawkins was just 13 years of age when he joined a privateer ship. The practice of privateering, which was widespread during the Revolutionary War, encouraged private U.S. citizens to harass British ships for financial gain. 

Captured by British forces, Hawkins languished with other patriots in the infamous HMS Jersey prison ship in New York harbor. More than 11,000 American prisoners died on British prison ships during the war, according to History.com, which notes that the Jersey, dubbed “Hell” by its inmates, was particularly notorious.

‘THE FIRST OVAL OFFICE’: MUSEUM WILL SHOWCASE WASHINGTON’S REVOLUTIONARY WAR TENT

In the journal, Hawkins describes escaping from the prison ship by stealing an axe from the ship’s cook and breaking his way through a barred porthole during a thunder storm. The prisoner carefully timed his blows with a storm’s thunder claps to mask the sound of his axe, according to the Museum of the American Revolution.

HawkinsJournal3

Hawkins’ family recently traveled to Philadelphia to donate the journal to the Museum (Museum of the American Revolution)

Hawkins swam for two and a half hours to escape the ship, he wrote in the journal.

The fascinating record was discovered nearly two decades ago in the linen closet of Hawkins’ ancestor, Margaret Hodder Davis of Kansas City. Davis’ son Heywood Davis recently traveled to Philadelphia with his family to donate the journal to the Museum, which plans to display it.

EXTREMELY RARE COPY OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, ONCE HIDDEN BEHIND WALLPAPER, SURFACES

Hawkins was 70 years old when he wrote the journal in 1834. A version of his experiences, entitled “The Adventures of Christopher Hawkins” was published in 1864, 27 years after his death.

HawkinsJournal2

Hawkins was 70 years old when he wrote the journal in 1834 (Museum of the American Revolution)

“Hawkins’ account is one of the liveliest tales of the Revolutionary War from the perspective of a boy sailor that exists,” said Dr. Philip Mead, Chief Historian and Director of Curatorial Affairs at the Museum of the American Revolution, in a statement. “Until now, scholars have only known Hawkins’ tale from the published version in 1864. Reading the stories from Hawkins’ own hand brings the story to life in a new way. It is as close as we can get to sitting by a fireside and listening to the aging veteran tell his tale.” 

Revolutionary War artifacts offer a fascinating glimpse into the events that shaped America. Items in the Museum of the American Revolution’s collection include George Washington’s tent and his headquarters flag.

PAUL REVERE FAMILY OUTHOUSE MAY HAVE BEEN UNCOVERED IN BOSTON

In August 2017, a Revolutionary War-era knife was unearthed during an archaeological dig at Colonial Michilimackinac in Mackinaw City, Michigan, the latest in a series of amazing finds at the site.

The following month, archaeologists in Boston discovered a centuries-old outhouse that may be linked to the family of Patriot Paul Revere.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

 

Baby giraffe escapes Indiana zoo enclosure, leads staff on wild chase

A 7-month-old female giraffe at an Indiana zoo briefly escaped her enclosure on Monday.

Officials at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo said the giraffe, Thabisa, escaped from the African Journey exhibit.

The mischievous youngster never left the property, however. Zoo staffers were able to trap the giraffe in a fenced parking lot in a non-public area of the zoo, calming her down before returning her to the enclosure.

Thabisa, a female giraffe born at the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo in November, was urged back into her enclosure Monday, April 23, 2018, after briefly escaping. She is the youngest in the zoo's nine-giraffe herd. How the animal got out is still being investigated. (Cathie Rowand/The Journal-Gazette via AP)

It took zookeepers a couple of hours before the 7-month-old giraffe was caught and taken back to her enclosure.

 (AP)

It’s currently unclear how Thabisa escaped, but the incident was the first of its kind at Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, according officials at the facility.

“As many of you may know, Thabisa decided to have a little adventure today,” the zoo said in a statement posted to Facebook. “Thanks for all of your concern, but after realizing our nonpublic parking lot near the giraffe barn wasn’t all that exciting, she decided to go back into the barn all on her own. She remained on zoo property for the duration of her adventure, and is now resting safely behind the scenes.”

“We will re-evaluate our giraffe exhibit and take extra precautions to ensure the continued safety of our animals and staff,” the statement continued.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Madeline Farber is a Reporter for Fox News. You can follow her on Twitter @MaddieFarberUDK.

Watch powerful waterspout churn through Florida beach

A powerful waterspout was captured on video in the Florida Panhandle Sunday.

The swirling phenomena was seen tearing through Okaloosa Island, passing over a sound then making landfall in Fort Walton Beach, according to WEAR-TV.

Dave Perkins and his wife witnessed the destruction.

“Water started coming up out of the Gulf, tore up one of the buildings, roof came off, boat flipped over, pieces of debris are falling out of the air,” he told the station.

Michelle Seitz, a long-time resident of Okaloosa Island, said her house was destroyed.

“We heard stuff rip off the house. We came upstairs, saw the roof was off over kitchen area, boat was gone, banisters were gone,” she described to WEAR-TV. “At the time, the tornado was sitting in the middle of the sound turning.”

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Mobile/Pensacola said Monday that tornado survey teams have been dispatched to the Fort Walton Beach and Molina areas in Florida, as well as to Crenshaw and Escambia Counties in Alabama to “assess additional potential tornadic damage.” 

NASA BAFFLED BY MYSTERIOUS ICE CIRCLES IN ARCTIC

In nearby Baldwin County, Alabama, the NWS confirmed Sunday night that two EF-0 tornadoes touched down in the area, leaving at least 5 people injured. The category of tornado is the lowest on the Enhanced Fujita scale, which goes up to EF-5. 

A water spout forms over water or moves from land to water and shares the same characteristics of a land tornado, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 

About 500 waterspouts form off the coast of Sunshine State each year, according to the Palm Beach Post, though the majority of them sprout up near the state’s southeastern region.

What’s next for NASA’s TESS exoplanet hunter?

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA’s newest planet-hunting powerhouse, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), leaped into orbit Wednesday evening (April 18) atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

TESS lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station here at 6:51 p.m. EDT (2251 GMT), then separated from its rocket ride 49 minutes later. 

“When you come off the top of the rocket, all the fun for us spacecraft folks begins,” Robert Lockwood, TESS spacecraft program manager for Orbital ATK, the company that built the satellite for NASA, said during a prelaunch news conference here on Sunday (April 15). [NASA’s TESS Exoplanet-Hunting Mission in Pictures]

What sort of fun will Lockwood and his colleagues be having? Well, TESS’ solar arrays will soon deploy, and the refrigerator-size satellite will perform a series of system checks over the next five days to ensure everything is in working order. And “first light” will come soon: TESS’ science instrument, which consists of four CCD cameras, will be switched on about eight days after launch, mission team members have said.

More From Space.com

And then there’s all the maneuvering. TESS is headed for an orbit around Earth that no spacecraft has ever occupied — a highly elliptical path in which the satellite will circle the planet twice for every orbit the moon completes.

This orbit is very stable, letting the spacecraft remain relatively unaffected by orbital debris and space radiation, as well as allowing for easy communications with mission team members on the ground during the close passes to Earth. Moreover, TESS shouldn’t have to perform too many attitude corrections in this orbit, mission team members have said. If the spacecraft veers off course too much, the moon’s gravity will pull it back in line. 

However, this type of orbit presents challenges as well. For example, the timing has to be just right to sync up with the moon. If all goes according to plan, TESS will perform a beautifully choreographed orbital ballet of sorts, completing a series of maneuvers in order to fly by the moon on May 17. (TESS’ cameras won’t be on during this flyby, so don’t expect any photos.) Approximately two months after launch, in mid-June, the spacecraft will finally reach its operating orbit. 

Then, TESS’ science work will begin. The satellite may be small, but it packs a major science punch. TESS is following in the footsteps of NASA’s famed Kepler space telescope and is expected to surpass its predecessor in the number of exoplanets detected. 

Over the course of its two-year mission, TESS will monitor the brightness of more than 200,000 stars, waiting to observe tiny dips in starlight known as transits. When a planet orbits in front of its host star, it temporarily blocks a tiny portion of starlight, and these dips will be recorded by TESS’ four ultrasensitive cameras. Kepler has used this same strategy to find more than 2,600 confirmed alien worlds to date.

Some of the first images TESS’ cameras collect may resemble television static rather than discernable cosmic objects, but the photos will be jam-packed with data. The mission will rely on observations by other telescopes, both on the ground and in space, to confirm which of its detected “candidates” are bona fide planets. In addition, some confirmed TESS planets should be close enough to Earth to be studied in detail by other instruments, including NASA’s $8.8 billion James Webb Space Telescope, which is scheduled to launch in 2020.

TESS will observe 85 percent of the sky over its two-year prime mission and is expected to discover thousands of new worlds, as well as other astronomical objects like galaxies. We could see the first of those worlds later this year, NASA officials have said.

Originally published on Space.com.

Ultrasound found the secret of a people who dive deep

“They are simply a stranger to the land,” an anthropologist says of Southeast Asia’s Bajau people, and a new study shows their bodies have changed to account for that.

The Bajau, who live in Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines, sustain themselves by diving for fish, and have a noticeable ability to dive long and deep, even compared to other local divers.

The New York Times reports they can dive more than 200 feet down with no equipment other than wooden goggles. The feats led Melissa Ilardo to wonder if evolution played a role, and an ultrasound machine confirmed there was a biological difference: It turns out the Bajau have larger spleens.

When researching in Sulawesi, Indonesia, she compared the size of Bajau locals’ spleens with those of the Saluan, a people who lived 15 miles inland. The difference was stark: The Bajau’s spleens were about 50% bigger.

“It was like ‘Oh my God,'” says a co-author of the study, published Thursday in Cell. As for why the spleen, the Guardian reports the researchers found a “clue” in research that had been done on seals: It turns out those seals that can dive for longer periods of time have bigger spleens.

During the “diving reflex,” which is triggered when one submerges the head in water, the spleen contracts, pumping oxygen-rich red blood cells into the circulatory system.

The team measured the spleens of Bajau who weren’t divers and found they were large, too, suggesting evolution is at play. They zeroed in on a gene variant called PDE10A as influencing the spleen’s size.

What’s unknown: When the change began. (A new human organ was recently discovered.)

This article originally appeared on Newser: Behind a People’s Superhuman Ability to Dive: the Spleen

Knife-wielding monk seal pup spotted on Hawaii beach

At first glance it may look like this monk seal pup is holding a large carrot in its mouth, but it’s actually the handle of a knife the sea creature picked up off a beach in Hawaii — and it could have killed the creature.

The seal pup, named Manu‘iwa, was recently weaned from its mother and is being closely monitored by officers from the Marine Mammal Center and the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) in Kalaoa. They watched as the playful seal pup dove under water Sunday and popped back up with a mysterious object in its mouth.

“There was real concern that the seal pup might swallow the knife. It’s a reminder to all of us to properly dispose of our trash and not to leave it on Hawai‘i’s beaches or in the ocean,” a DOCARE officer who captured the disturbing scene on camera said in a statement released by the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR).

Some people poked fun at the minute-long footage shared on Hawaii DLNR’s Facebook page on Tuesday.

Knife-wielding seal

A monk seal pup was spotted with a knife in its mouth on a beach in Hawaii on April 15, 2018.

 (Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources)

FIRST HAWAIIN MONK SEALS OF 2018 BORN ON LANAI, BIG ISLAND

“Is this the new Navy Seal training?” one Facebook user asked.

“I said, gimme your wallet. Now!” another joked.

“Don’t deny that pup their sashimi! Where’s the shoyu? Where’s the wasabi!” one man quipped.

“Is this the new Navy Seal training?”

– Facebook user

But Hawaii DLNR said this is no laughing matter — it’s an example of a serious problem plaguing the world’s oceans right now: pollution.

“Too easy to make jokes about ‘Good marine life going bad,'” the organization commented. “But this is a serious illustration of why [we need] beach cleanups and other efforts to keep plastic debris out of our oceans and rivers.”

Several monk seals and sea lions have required surgeries over the years for ingesting items that don’t belong in the ocean, mainly fishing gear — from fishing nets to crab traps, Hawaii DLNR explained. This is the first situation officials can recall involving a knife, which is even more deadly.

4 YEARS IN PRISON FOR HARASSING PREGNANT HAWAIIAN MONK SEAL

“Once lodged inside them, the animal has no way to get the painful obstruction out,” the organization added. “[It’s] all non-biodegradable and made of material that doesn’t expand as the animal grows. Instead it cuts deeper into their body.”

It’s crucial for seal pups to avoid human interaction so they can better adjust to the wild, Hawaii DLNR says. Anyone who sees a monk seal should report the sighting to your local marine mammal response coordinator, NOAA’s Office of National Marine Fisheries requests.

It’s crucial for seal monk pups to avoid interaction with humans to 

It’s crucial for seal monk pups to avoid interaction with humans to