Jul 19

Rescued seal shot by ruthless killers

Rescued seal shot by ruthless killers

An injured seal, rescued and nursed back to health before being released into the wild, has been shot dead.

Animal welfare activists, who named the pup Kuiper, spent six weeks feeding him with a straw after he was found in 2012 with a dangerous eye ulcer.

But now the three-year-old has been discovered dead on rocks with a bullet wound through his nose indicating a slow and painful death.

It is believed his killer was a marksman working for the fishing industry.

Rob Read, of welfare group Sea Shepherd, said: “When we found Kuiper we thought he was hauled out and resting. Only when he didn’t move we realised he was dead. The entry wound from the bullet was hardly visible.

Rescued seal shot

Shot dead: The seal was shot in the nose, which means it had a slow and painful death and the gunman was filmed near the site of its death

Rescued seal shot

Tragic end: A seal pup rescued and successfully released in to the wild has been found shot in the head

“When we turned Kuiper and saw he was still bleeding from the exit wound our worst fears were realised. Then we saw the tags and knew he was a rescue seal who would have seen humans as friends.”

Colin Seddon, of the National Wildlife Rescue Centre, added: “He had a second chance. It makes you angry, especially as pictures suggest it was not a quick end.”

Kuiper was saved as a pup by the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

He was taken to a SSPCA rescue centre where staff named him Kuiper.

Despite difficulties reintroducing the protected species back in to the wild he was freed back in to the North Sea later that year.

His body was found at Murkle Bay near Thurso after activists opposed to year-round culling filmed a man with a gun.

It comes after we revealed hundreds of seals a year are slaughtered.

For more information on the Scottish Seal Cull CLICK HERE

The Scottish government provides licenses to firms including salmon farms who are permitted to shoot a number of seals if they “bothering the nets” of fish farms.

Activists claim last year’s cull was far higher than the official figure of 205.

Rob Read added: “It is astonishing that the SNP government quite rightly and very vocally opposes fox hunting in England and Wales.

“Yet it issues permits for fishermen to shoot Scotland’s seals which are protected under Scottish, UK and EU laws.”

Grey seals would usually live up to 25 years in the wild.

They can be spotted off south west and eastern England as well as Scotland’s northern and western coast.

The Conservation of Seals Act (1970) protects them during a closed season from 1st September to 31st December but fishing industries can still shoot them if they claim an animal is damaging fish nets.

Article from source 

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