Seals massacre on New Zealand beachBy DPA, IANS
Sunday, December 5, 2010
WELLINGTON - Twenty-three seals, including eight newborn pups, have been found clubbed to death at a colony near Kaikoura, on
the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island, the Department of Conservation said Monday.
It appealed to the public for help to identify those responsible for the “callous and cowardly” attack on the protected animals, who attract thousands of tourists to see the pups frolicking in a nearby waterfall pool.
Local DOC manager Dave Hayes hinted that local fishermen may have been responsible, saying, “Regrettably, antagonism towards seals is often due to the misplaced belief that they are eating large amounts of fish species valued for human consumption.
“That isn’t the case. Research on Kaikoura seals indicates they primarily eat lantern fish which are not sought after in fishing.”
Those convicted of killing seals face a six-month prison sentence and heavy fine under the Marine Mammals Protection Act.
Tags: Wellington, Wildlife