A video showed a woman who went swimming in Canada had a “once in a lifetime” wildlife encounter when she noticed a sea lion fighting an octopus.
Lindsey Bryant spotted Sea lion spray off the coast of Nanaimo before swimming on Nov. 16, she told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. She regularly swims in the area and often encounters sea lions, but things seemed different this time.
“I actually thought the sea lion was tangled up in something,” Bryant wrote in a letter. November 16 Facebook post. “For a minute, he went into a dead float.”
“I started recording because I couldn’t figure out why a sea lion was struggling so much with what I thought was a fish,” she wrote. Another Facebook post.
But when Bryant returned home and rewatched the video, she realized the sea lion wasn’t eating fish at all.
He was fighting with an octopus.
Bryant shared the video on YouTube. The 3-minute video shows A Sea lion crush About with octopus. The sea lion forcefully tosses the octopus away, then dives underwater and repeats the action. Seagulls circle overhead.
“It seemed like the octopus put up a really good fight! The sea lion seemed to be struggling really hard at some points,” Bryant said.
Sea lions typically eat octopuses, Andrew Traits, a marine mammal researcher at the University of British Columbia, told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
“The challenge for the sea lion is to swallow the octopus without the octopus using its eight arms to hold the sea lion’s head while swallowing it whole,” Trites told the outlet. “The sea lion will suffocate.”
To avoid this, Trites said, sea lions “bite one arm at a time and fling the octopus’ body with all their might to tear off the arm to swallow it whole.” They do this on the surface because they can get more torque in the air than they can get underwater.
Bryant said the meet was a “fun swim.”
“I think this will be a once in a lifetime scene for me,” she wrote on Facebook.
Bryant couldn’t figure out who won the fight. The video ends with the sea lion still swimming and striking.
Bryant did not immediately respond to McClatchy News’ Nov. 20 request for comment.
Nanaimo is located on Vancouver Island, about 50 miles west of Vancouver and about 200 miles northwest of Seattle.
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