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USB-Stick in leopard feces: The mystery is solved

Krista Hupman actually wanted to investigate only the excrement of the animal. The detective story, which began then, told you in the SZ-Interview.

Interview of Hannes Vollmuth

It was a national event in new Zealand: The research Institute NIWA from Wellington asked all citizens to help. Was looking for a USB-Stick-owner.

SZ: Mrs Hupman, you are a marine biologist in Wellington, and half the world now speaks of their work.

Krista Hupman: We have just thawed in 80 frozen samples of leopard seals-feces. We want to know why these animals heaped on our shores to appear. Probably has to do with changing food habits. Anyway, we have a USB Stick in one of the faecal Samples found.

A USB-Stick?

Exactly. Black, 16 Gigabyte storage capacity, the cap was still there.

Does it still works?

A Student came to my office ran and gave me the thing under the nose. God, the stink. I put him immediately into my Computer.


Did not work. The was also somewhere in the Sand, was eaten, digested, excreted, collected, and frozen.

you have given up?

what do you think! I cleaned the smelly part, in a plastic bag with sawdust, Packed for three weeks and blow-dried. Then he went back./p>

Margins us on the torture.

for Three weeks, I broke my head what is it. Maybe something totally, stinking, boring, wedding photos or so. And then I'll open the Stick and see pictures and Videos of sea lions. It was always a lunatic.

Who loses a Stick with a sea lion photos in the vicinity of the leopard seals?

we asked ourselves. We had the leopard seals-Kot as well. In the autumn of 2017, a woman from the Porpoise has called the Bay with us, which is located on the southernmost tip of new Zealand. The woman said: There is a leopard seal, but he is not well. So we sent a veterinarian. The vet has also brought the feces.

the veterinarian!

we thought at first. But the vet has vowed to stone and bone, to have this USB-Stick have never seen in my life. So we have launched a call to: to Whom do these images?


no one Has come forward. All of them have wildly reported, but not a hot track. Now hold on tight, but We have found the owner. On Thursday.


But. It is the woman from the Bay that called us was because they had seen the leopard seals. The woman also works as a Volunteer for the lions Foundation of new Zealand. Therefore, the USB-Stick, therefore, the images. But it goes further.

There's more?

The last mystery is not that we don't know whether the leopard has eaten the USB Stick at all. Maybe it was a different animal, a bird, for example, and the leopard seal has eaten the bird. Digestion of the second order, so to speak.

the stomach, In any case, a more robust Animal.

True. Many animals die Yes miserably at all the plastic in their stomachs. Now, we not set aside in General, the detective story: A USB-Stick, plastic, belongs in a leopard seals.

there Is also news von the animal?

hasn't Been spotted for a long time. But I very much hope that he's okay.

Krista Hupman is a marine biologist. She works in the NIWA Institute in Wellington, new Zealand. Leopard seals Hupmans specialty, which also means regular excrement to browse samples for traces.

(photo: Dave Allen/NIWA)
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