Chapter three - The ocean
All night the sea beats Spot around. Plunged and pulled under water and flung into the air. He may be able to hold his breath for over two minutes and swim fast - but he’s still no match for the angry ocean.
By the time the sun starts to rise, the ocean is still and Spot is exhausted.
Floating on its surface he looks out across the big blue sea. There’s no land in sight.
He bobs around and watches a pod of speeding dolphins chase a shoal of glinting, silver sardines.
The fish swim in a giant wall, transforming into the shape of a whirlpool. The dolphins race through it dividing them into neat sections and gobbling them up.
Diving down Spot scoops up some of the confused fish in his beak - what a rush! So this is what catching fish feels like.
Energised by this discovery he speeds through the waters gulping down sardine after sardine be-fore bobbing on the surface. From below his white belly makes him almost invisible. From above his black back blends in to the ocean depths.
Floating around he preens himself, rubbing his feathers against his oily tail to keep him waterproof. Something passes beneath him, like a giant dark shadow. Another shoal of fish and they’re moving fast.
He whizzes through the water after them as they tear through the ocean. They’re travelling so fast - maybe the dolphins are behind…
Then he sees it.
A long streamlined body dancing through the water, twisting and turning, darting - playing with the hundreds of fish. It’s sharp, penguin-munching teeth, glint in the sunlight.
A leopard seal.
It’s silky, grey body flies through the water. Its speckled underbelly gleaming white as it spins and turns, its agile flippers propelling it after the shoal.
Catching fish doesn’t matter now. The only thing important to Spot is to not be seen by the massive, mega predator. Desperately He swims with all his might, speeding through the water in a blur.
He’s caught. Trapped in something…invisible. Tangled around his flippers and feathers. What’s go-ing on?
He struggles and pulls and fights, managing to drag himself up to the surface - but he’s completely entangled in the tight, clear material.
He thrashes and pecks at it but it just gets tighter. From beneath him it hangs like an invisible, float-ing wall. Fish glimmer in it, panicked and stuck - just like him.
He’s floating. Trapped. Unable to get his flippers free.
The sun beats down.
Exhausted, Spot closes his eyes.
Watch out for chapter four coming soon!
Select a blog
Our people are our greatest asset and we realise our vision for a world where wildlife thrives through their ideas, skills and passion. An inspired, informed and empowered community of people work, study and volunteer together at ZSL.
A blog for lovers of ZSL London Zoo, bringing you extraordinary animal facts and exclusive access to the world's oldest scientific zoo.
Do you love wildlife? Discover more about our amazing animals at the UK's biggest zoo!
We're working around the world to conserve animals and their habitats, find out more about our latest achievements.
From the field to the lab, catch up with the scientists on the cutting edge of conservation biology at ZSL’s Institute of Zoology.
A day in Discovery and Learning at ZSL is never dull! The team tell us all about the exciting sessions for school children, as well as work further afield.
Every month, one of the pieces held in ZSL’s Library and at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo will feature here as Artefact of the Month.
Read testimonials from our Members and extracts from ZSL's award winning members' magazine, Wild About.
The Chagos archipelago is a rare haven for marine biodiversity. Hear from the team about our projects to protect the environments in the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT).
ZSL works across Asia, from the famous national parks of Nepal to marine protected areas in the Philippines. Read the latest updates on our conservation.
An Open Access journal for research at the interface of remote sensing, ecology and conservation.