NEW ZEALAND (Gray News) - The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) is searching for the owner of a USB stick found in the poo of a leopard seal that had been frozen in a lab freezer for more than a year.
Researchers say the poo sample was taken back in November 2017.
Scientists were defrosting the seal poo for research when they made the discovery.
They had to let the stick dry out for a few weeks and when they did, it was still in perfect working order.
The USB stick was full of photos and contained footage of New Zealand sea lions.
The memory stick included video of a mother sea lion and her baby frolicking in shallow waters, the NIWA said on its website.
Volunteer Jodie Warren, who helped collect the poo sample, voiced concern for sea life and harmful items they could potentially ingest.
"It is very worrying that these amazing Antarctic animals have plastic like this inside them," said Warren. "The more we can find out about
these creatures, the more we can ensure they are looked after."
The NIWA website states that the poo, known scientifically as scat, is about the size of two bread rolls and is considered gold for leopard seal researchers.
The poo can tell them what the seals eat, about their health and how long they've been in area waters.
Copyright 2019 Gray Television Group, Inc. All rights reserved.