STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Baby seals found decapitated at New Zealand tourist spot

Six baby seals have been found decapitated at a popular New Zealand bay, in what authorities described as a ...

Posted: Dec 19, 2018 12:39 PM
Updated: Dec 19, 2018 12:39 PM

Six baby seals have been found decapitated at a popular New Zealand bay, in what authorities described as a "brutal and violent" crime.

A tourist operator discovered the 11-month-old fur seal pups floating in tidal wash at Scenery Nook, near Christchurch on New Zealand's South Island.

Continents and regions

New Zealand

Oceania

Tourism

Travel and tourism

They had apparently been killed and had their heads removed elsewhere, before possibly being dumped by boat for visitors to find, according to the New Zealand government's Department of Conservation (DOC).

Police have been called in to find the perpetrator, and the DOC is appealing for any recent sightings of boats in the area.

"Due to the disturbing, brutal and violent nature of this crime against defenseless seal pups, it has been reported to the police," Andy Thompson, DOC Mahaanui Operations Manager, said in a statement.

Three of the seals have been sent for an autopsy at a nearby university, and the DOC has ruled out the possibility of a shark attack.

"We believe it's incredibly unlikely sharks would have bitten the heads off six seals but left the bodies untouched," Thompson said.

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

"That isn't the case," he added. "I can't believe people are willing to run the risk of a life-long criminal conviction over a couple of fish."

Fur seals are a protected species in New Zealand and it is a crime to harass or disturb them.

Article Comments

Mason City
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 75°
Albert Lea
Scattered Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 72°
Austin
Scattered Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 75°
Charles City
Few Clouds
73° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 73°
Rochester
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 72°
Tracking cooler temps and plenty of sun to finish the work week
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Trout Project

Image

Mayo Clinic Cultural Fest

Image

Back To School Driving Safety

Image

Sara's Daybreak Forecast - Thursday

StormTeam 3: Long-range forecast - cooler days to end August

Image

CTK: Triton Cobras

Image

CTK: Byron Bears

Image

CTK: Kasson-Mantorville

Image

Mac Horvath transfers to IMG

Image

Salary debate

Community Events