TVNZ One News reports today:
The Department of Conservation is appealing for information after a dead leopard seal was decapitated over the weekend, at Southland’s Monkey Island.
DOC says it was first alerted to the dead seal last week, and after working with tāngata whenua of Oraka Aparima Rūnaka, it was decided to allow the animal to naturally decompose.
The seal’s body was then illegally decapitated, "to the horror of both groups," DOC says in a statement.
“This act is both incredibly disrespectful, and illegal under the Marine Mammals Protection Act”, says DOC's Ros Cole.
It is an offence to take any part of a marine mammal that has not naturally separated, Cole says.
Leopard seals normally dwell in the Antarctic but visit New Zealand’s shores sometimes in autumn-winter.
It is not known why the seal may have come ashore in December.
DOC is asking anyone with information to call 0800 DOC HOT and ask for the Invercargill team.
Link to news report: https://www.1news.co.nz/2021/12/20/dead ... Zj7o8-lqSo
Discuss natural history subjects not strictly related to birds. Reports of interesting mammal, reptile, and invertebrate sightings are welcome.
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- Michael Szabo
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