Wednesday, 27 March 2013

MWBuzzOddStuff: Why did the elephant seal cross the road?

Sea mammal goes walkabout in Brazil

A MASSIVE  elephant  seal held up traffic for more than an hour after going on a walkabout in Brazil.
But at least the sea animal politely used the pedestrian crossing when it waddled out of the Atlantic Ocean on Saturday afternoon

The surprising sight attracted a large crowd in the coastal city of Balneario Camboriu in the southern state of Santa Catarina.

In an effort to keep it hydrated police officers and firefighters splashed water on the 10ft beast as traffic ground to a halt along busy Avenida Atlantica. 

t initially moved quickly across the road before slumping down in front of a waiting car.

The confused animal, estimated to weigh over half a tonne, finally sloped off back to the water after nearly 90 minutes in the sun.

It is unknown why this giant beast decided to leave the ocean - elephant seals spend most of their lives at sea and only return to land to mate.

There are two types of elephant seal, southern elephant seal and the smaller northern version.
It is named after the males' snout which resembles the trunk of an elephant.

The males can grow to be 16ft long and weigh over 6,000lbs
Their harems can contain several dozen females, which are somewhat lighter on their feet being a fifth of the males’ size - they are normally about 10ft long and weighing in at around 2,000lbs

They can hold their breath longer than any other cetacean animal – they can stay under water without air for up to two hours.

They were almost hunted to extinction in the 19th and 20th centuries but since then the population is estimated to have recovered to about 700,000 members. - MailOnline

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