Viewers of Blue Planet Live were left shocked after a seagull snatched a baby turtle during a live BBC broadcast.
Presenter Liz Bonnin was signing off when she let six baby turtles on to the sand, but one unlucky hatchling was snatched mid-run from the sand to sea by a waiting seagull.
The ordeal happened during an episode of the popular BBC nature show, Blue Planet Live, which was filmed on the Great Barrier Reef’s Heron Island.
— Jono Read (@jonoread) March 31, 2019
Viewers who watched the segment took to social media after the episode aired to express their horror.
me watching the baby turtle be carried off to it’s death seconds before it reached the ocean on Blue Planet Live pic.twitter.com/wtOu01fYxs
— Lucy (@LucyJFesmer) March 31, 2019
— Lucy (@lucymaybeattie) March 31, 2019
— Natalie Helena (@NatalieHelenaB) March 31, 2019
Heron Island Research Station deputy manager Abbie Taylor assured worried fans this was not only normal but the cycle of life.
Taylor told ABC News: “We witness turtle hatchlings being taken on a daily basis.
“Whether that’s by seagulls or crabs on land or sharks and fish in the water.
“It’s common to see large flocks of seagulls waiting on the beach at dusk and dawn for nests to erupt.”
Liz Bonnin tweeted: “These hatchlings are part of the food web here and the silver gulls need to feed their newborn chicks too.
“[It’s] hard to watch but we can’t do anything about it.”