Six baby seals found headless after 'disturbing and brutal' crime in New Zealand
The bodies of the fur pups were discovered floating in the tidal wash at Scenery Nook, a popular bay near Christchurch in New Zealand.
Their heads were nowhere to be found, and it is believed the animals had been killed elsewhere and dumped from a boat.
Andy Thompson, a local manager for the New Zealand department of conservation, said police had been informed after the discovery on the south side of Banks Peninsula on Monday.
He said: “Due to the disturbing, brutal and violent nature of this crime against defenceless seal pups, it has been reported to the police.
“We believe it’s incredibly unlikely sharks would have bitten the heads off six seals but left the bodies untouched.”
The killers may have believed that the seals were eating large amounts of fish valued for human consumption.
“That isn’t the case,” he said. “Research shows 90% of Banks Peninsula fur seal diet is made up of lantern fish which are not sought after in fishing.”
Three of the seals have since been buried by rangers, while the other three have been sent to Massey University for a post-mortem examination.
Officials have appealed for further information about the seal deaths.
Fur seals have been endangered in New Zealand in the past, but conservation efforts have increased their numbers in recent years.
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