New Zealand scientists researching leopard seal poo made an unusual discovery when they found a working USB stick in a poo sample they were analysing.

The poo, scientifically known as scat, was gathered by a local vet to monitor the health of a thin leopard seal seen on Oreti Beach, the National Institute Of Water And Atmospheric Research said.

The scat was then left in a freezer for over a year before being defrosted by NIWA scientists for research purposes, revealing a USB concealed deep inside.

The USB contained video footage of an unidentified person kayaking in Porpoise Bay and a sea lion and her baby playing in the water, as well as a photograph of a sea lion on a Southland beach.

"It is very worrying that these amazing Antarctic animals have plastic like this inside them," volunteer Jodie Warren, who found the USB, said in a statement.

NIWA said that they are now looking to find the owner of the USB stick so that they can return the footage to them.

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