Dead Mediterranean monk seal to be exhibited at museum in Turkey’s Antalya
A two-month-old Mediterranean monk seal, which was found when it washed ashore dead in the southeastern province of Antalya on Nov. 24, is set to be exhibited at Akdeniz University’s Faculty of Aquaculture Museum, Doğan News Agency has reported.
After performing a necropsy on the dead seal, the Turkish Marine Research Foundation (TUDAV) found traces of fishing nets on its body. The foundation, which conducts research to protect marine life, has also detected pneumonitis caused by inflammation of the lungs and parasites in its intestines. The seal was reported to be one-meter-long and weighed 25 kilograms.
Prof. Dr. Mehmet Gökoğlu, an academic at Akdeniz University’s Faculty of Aquaculture, had previously told state-run Anadolu Agency that the baby monk seal had probably died after its mother left the cave they had taken refuge in to find food.
“Probably after the mother left the cave, the cave was flooded or it [the baby seal] had to leave the place because it got hungry. Baby seals are very vulnerable and weak. We believe that as it was trying to reach the land, it got caught in a fishing net and died. There are scars on its face which we think emerged after it struggled to come out of the net,” he had said.
Mediterranean monk seals today exist only along the coasts of Turkey, Greece, Mauritania and Portugal, with a population of approximately 700, according to the Turkey-based Underwater Research Society-Mediterranean Seal Research Group (SAD-AFAG).
It is estimated that around 100 monk seals exist along Turkish coasts, 60 of which were identified in field studies by SAD-AFAG so far.