Friday 24 November 2017

Sick vandals mount heads of two seals on Dingle reserve

Sarah Stack

Sarah Stack

THE heads of two young seals have been mounted and stuck to the sign of a seal sanctuary.

The grim discovery was made by staff at Dingle Wildlife and Seal Sanctuary in Co Kerry shortly before 9am this morning.

Ally McMillan, animal manager, said the freshly cut seal heads had been nailed to a piece of wood, which was drilled to the sanctuary's sign.

Red paint, which resembled blood, was used to scrawl the words: "RIP Cull."

"It was sickening," said Ms McMillan.

"I wanted to be sick when I saw them.

"We were very worried because we have two seals here at the moment that are about ready to be released, but it wasn't them."

Gardai in the fishing port town have removed the seal heads and signs as part of their investigation.

It is feared they were targeted by people who want the sanctuary to close and who believe seals are destroying the local fishing waters.

Dingle Bay is also famous for its eco tours and cruises to spot seals, whales and the country's most famous dolphin Fungie.

The two dead common harbour seals are believed to be about six months old.

The alarm the raised by a man from the area passing the site who called the volunteers and said there was something on the sign.

Ms McMillan believes the seals were shot, but added there were no wounds on their heads besides the nails.

She said she is not opposed to the culling of seals when carried out humanly.

"I am from Australia and we cull kangaroos if there are too many, but there's research done first," she added.

"If they did that here and did proper research and counted seals in the Irish waters and found the population too high they could be a cull humanly.

"For people just to take it in to their own hands and club or shot a seal is sickening."

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