Monday, December 6, 2010

Condemnation in New Zealand's Brutal Seal Killings

Two dead New Zealand fur seal pups

The Department of Conservation (DOC) has recently condemned a brutal killing of 23 New Zealand fur seals, including eight pups, along the nation's Kaikoura coast. The seals are protected by law, and the department is now calling for public help in order to identify the would-be killers responsible for such a horrendous deed. The victims were found in a seal colony at Ohau Point about 22 kilometers north of Kaikoura township. They included two adult males, thirteen females, and pups; some of which were just a few days old. Other seals, who were alive, sustained injuries from the attack. The DOC reported that the animals had been behaving very strangely. They were constantly on the alert and were bristling about. This unusual behavior showed that they were suffering from the effects of the attack. According to Dave Hayes, DOC's South Marlborough area manager, the victims' conditions showed that whoever was behind the attacks had carried out in separate days. Some appeared to have been killed about a week ago. He was also extremely disappointed at the lack of respect and respect for the animals, especially in a place which is a popular tourist spot in watching seals in New Zealand. He also believes that some people seem to have a misplaced dislike of seals for unjustifiable reasons. The DOC now hopes that publicity will prompt the public to step forward with any information. This is because the department itself is powerless to prevent another attack because the seals move up and down a vast area, which is hard to stand guard at.

I also feel the same pain as Mr. Hayes and other members of the DOC at what is going on with the fur seal colonies in New Zealand. But what really shocks me is that the department itself is powerless in overlooking such a vast area occupied by the animals. Although it is good that it is reaching out towards the public to help out, I personally feel that the department is in a need of help with regarding different resources in protecting and conserving the seal population. Furthermore, these horrible attacks have had a major impact on the seals in which they are not behaving like they normally should where they spend their time basking in the sun. Instead, they have all been behaving very friskily. I'm also deeply saddened that some of the victims turned out to be little seal pups. In my opinion, this goes to show that whoever conducted these attacks was a baby-killer at heart. The Ohau Point also happens to be one of the top tourist destinations in New Zealand. If the seal population continues to fluctuate this way through brutal killings, it will deeply affect the nation's tourist industry. Some drastic action is a must, and I think that the public must help the DOC in conservation of the seals and other native wildlife in order to keep both the tourist industry and the nation's ecosystem functioning.

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