If you have the BALLS...
Two seals have been callously shot in the head at virtually point blank range north of Kaikoura: their bodies were found last Saturday at Ohau Point seal colony. The Department of Conservation (DOC) is seeking the public's help to find who is responsible for killing the female seal and 11-month-old pup.
DOC South Marlborough area manager David Hayes says NZ fur seals are protected by law and it's an offence to kill/harm them. Under the Marine Mammals Protection Act 1978 there are penalties of up to 6mths' imprisonment or a fine of up to $250,000 for killing or harming fur seals or other marine mammals, plus a further fine of up to $10,000 for every marine mammal the offence was committed against.
The shooter/s had better keep a close eye on the rear view mirror: in late 2010, when 25 seals (including pups) were beaten to death at the same location, two wankers were arrested - one was convicted and the trial of the other is this September.
The Ohau Stream waterfall pool, inland from the seal colony, where pups gather and play between May and September, has become a highly popular attraction with around 12,000 visits a month. That anyone can exploit the seals' openness and vulnerability in such a manner is sickening. When arrests are made (and they WILL be), I trust the court hits them with full force.
Obviously the previous arseholes' penalties weren't deterrents enough!
PS: 24 July 2013 - Name-and-shame some other arseholes who attacked seals...