Photo by David Johnson.

Losing your bikini bottoms in the ocean isn’t just embarrassing/sexy — it’s also a potential ecological hazard, apparently. Just ask this young seal, except he WON’T ANSWER because he’s got his THROAT stuck in a G-STRING. (Also seals can’t talk.)

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A local man spotted the seal on a New Zealand beach, hanging out near a natural arch called Lover’s Leap — so I guess it’s no mystery where the unattended thong came from. He called the Department of Conservation, and marine rangers hurried to the afflicted animal’s side. Ranger Jim Fyfe says it’s not clear the seal was in serious danger — “Quite possibly, given that it was fabric, it would have rotted off, but you can never tell” — but they also weren’t going to mess around. “We usually don’t have a second chance when people see things; if we leave it any length of time, the animal would be gone,” Fyfe told the local Otago Daily Times.

But for this particular thong, there’s still a chance to do a bit of good. The Department of Conservation has donated it to be auctioned off by a group called Our Far South, which will use the proceeds to eradicate mice from the Antipodes Islands. (The mice don’t even wear swimsuits, so I don’t totally get the connection, but I’m sure they know what they’re doing.) The experience was apparently harder on the G-string than it was on the seal — this thing is a little the worse for wear. You probably don’t want to actually wear it, whether you’re a human who wants to be minimally decent on the beach or just a seal who needs a jaunty scarf. But if you buy it, you can put it in a case and rest easy knowing it will never threaten wildlife again.

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