Animal Protection > Worldwide Actions > New Zealand
New Zealand: Clubbing Murders of Protected Seals Outrages
New Zealanders have been shocked after 23 young fur seals were clubbed to death at a popular tourist spot
Under New Zealand law, killing or harming protected creatures
such as fur seals can lead to imprisonment and hefty fines Photo:
Kate Wilkinson, the Minister for Conservation, said she was "beyond appalled" at the attack, which took place at the Ohau Point seal colony near Kaikoura, on the east coast of the South island.
"This isn't just a random act of violence.
"To go around and club 23 seals to death over a number of days is very deliberate, and you have to question the state of mind of someone who can carry out such a cruel and abhorrent attack," Ms Wilkinson said.
She appealed for public help to catch the offenders.
Dave Hayes, area manager for the Department of Conservation, said
whoever killed the seals must have taken some kind of club with
them, and would have left with blood-splattered clothes.
"The smashed skulls of several dead seals we examined suggest
they may have died in one forceful blow to the head, indicating it
was a person or persons of some strength who carried out the
Experts say the toll is likely to be much higher than the 23 dead
"Also, females mate about a week after giving birth and hence
have a developing embryo in the womb, which also would be killed."
Under New Zealand law, killing or harming protected creatures such as fur seals can lead to imprisonment and hefty fines.