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Volunteers at New Zealand's National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) were sifting through frozen seal feces samples-which reveal vital clues about the animals-when they found a USB stick deep inside.

Scientists in New Zealand say they uncovered a still-functioning USB stick from some animal seal poop last month.

For more than a year a frozen slab of leopard seal poo, which is scientifically known as "scat", has sat in a Niwa freezer.

"It is very worrying that these wonderful Antarctic animals have plastic like this inside them", said Jodie Warren, a volunteer at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA).

"It's be great, just for novelty, I think, to find out if somebody's missing their USB stick and find out how it got to be on the beach where the leopard seal was", Hupman said.

But the return of the USB comes with a price, according to NIWA.

'We basically have to sift it.

The hunt for the owner quickly went viral, with the video-which shows a mother sea lion with her baby frolicking around a blue kayak-clocking up over 500,000 views within a day after it was posted to social media.

On the memory stick - discovered intact and with the cap still on - were images of wildlife taken at Porpoise Bay, nearly 60 miles from where the scat was collected, but no identifiable human faces. And researchers would be happy to hand the drive over to the original owner, ideally in exchange for some fresh feces to study. The volunteers then let the hardware dry for a couple weeks before popping it into a computer to view the contents.

If you're missing a USB stick from a seal-watching expedition to New Zealand, we have some great news for you.

The poo can tell them what the seals eat, about their health and how long they've been in area waters.

A leopard seal is seen in the port of Talcahuano near Concepcion city, some 500km south of Santiago, August 24, 2012. After all, "the more we can find out about these creatures, the more we can ensure they are looked after", Warren said.


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