By Tui Benjamin
A dad destroyed his £450 mobile phone diving underwater to capture never before seen footage of a huge sea lion killing a turtle.
Spear fisherman Paul Mckeown was amazed to spot the huge 300kg mammal stalking the turtle while fishing off the coast of Perth, Western Australia, on Sunday [Mar 4].
The public servant wasted no time diving into the water near Three Mile Reef to film the unusual animal battle – but without his trusty GoPro, was forced to use his $800 AUD (£450) Samsung S7 phone instead.
Paul, 50, managed to capture the once in a lifetime clip before his phone succumbed to a watery death – and said he would make the same decision again in an instant.
The dad-of-three said: “I was spearfishing with my son Josh and friend Dean at Three Mile Reef on Sunday and we were sat on the boat when we saw this sea lion hanging onto a turtle that was very much alive.
“The sea lion was actually trying to drown the turtle by holding it underwater.
“At one point the turtle escaped and swum down and tried to hide itself under a limestone ledge.
“But the sea lion swam down to chase it, dragged the turtle out, smashed it and killed it by breaking its neck – my friend actually heard it snap.
“I was filming from the boat but I jumped in with my phone. I knew my phone was about to drown but I wanted to capture it.
“My phone case was supposed to be waterproof but it had lots of holes in it and I could see it filling up with water while I was swimming, and popping and cracking, but it was worth it to get the footage.
“Eventually my phone broke, but luckily the videos were on a memory card.”
Paul, who has been spear fishing for 30 years, said he often sees seals, dolphins, whales and sharks but has never come across a fight between a sea lion and a turtle before.
He sent his footage to a friend who is an environmental scientist who confirmed he too had never before witnessed or even heard of the spectacle.
Paul said: “When it was all over we watched the sea lion eat the turtle – he bit into its neck and just started chowing down as soon as it had killed it.
“Perth has a bad reputation when it comes to sharks so you half expect to see one every time you go out on the water, but this was something else as far as animal behaviour goes.
“We were just so shocked. I have never seen anything like that before.
“The sea lion was so clever – it knew exactly what it was doing.
“It deliberately held it underwater to try and drown it as it knew it had to come to the surface to breathe. It was so calculated – it must have done it before.
“It definitely makes you think twice about their intelligence and their intent when you see them doing things like that.
“The young seals are really friendly, but big male bulls like this are a different kettle of fish. When there is no food around they are known to eat seal pups from their own colony.”