Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now
Dublin: 18°C Thursday 18 August 2022
Advertisement

Outrage in New Zealand as six baby seals found decapitated

The crimes have been described as “disturbing, brutal and violent”.

SIX BABY SEALS have been found decapitated in New Zealand in what wildlife rangers today branded a “cruel and senseless” act against a protected species.

The bodies of the New Zealand fur seal pups were found by a tourism operator on Monday at Scenery Nook near the South Island city of Christchurch, the Department of Conservation said.

The department’s local operations manager Andy Thompson said the animals, which are protected under New Zealand law, were estimated to be 11 months old.

“Due to the disturbing, brutal and violent nature of this crime… it has been reported to the police,” he said.

Thompson said the seals’ heads were nowhere to be found and it appeared they had been killed elsewhere then dumped in the beauty spot from a boat.

“We believe it’s incredibly unlikely sharks would have bitten the heads off six seals but left the bodies untouched,” he said.

Thompson added the killers may have mistakenly believed the seals were competing with local anglers for fish.

“Regrettably, antagonism towards seals is often due to the misplaced belief that seals are eating large amounts of fish species valued for human consumption,” he said.

Making a difference

A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article.

Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can make sure we can keep reliable, meaningful news open to everyone regardless of their ability to pay.

“That isn’t the case. Research shows 90% of Banks Peninsula fur seal diet is made up of lantern fish which are not sought after in fishing.”

The DOC has appealed for information about the killings.

In 2011, a South Island teenager was jailed for two years after he admitted to bludgeoning 25 seals to death, including newborn pups.

© AFP 2018

About the author:

AFP

Read next:

COMMENTS (12)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel