In New Zealand, attackers wielding bats or clubs slaughtered two dozen fur seals, including newborn pups, over several days at one of the most popular sanctuaries for watching the animals. Officials said eight pups, some just days old, were among those killed, and there were likely more juveniles that had died or would soon because their mothers were among those slaughtered.
Under New Zealand law, killing or harming fur seals or other marine mammals incurs up to six months in prison or a fine of up to 250,000 New Zealand dollars (US $191,000).
Numbering about 2 million before the arrival of settlers in New Zealand, fur seals were clubbed to death by hunters in the 1800s for their meat and pelts, but the hunts ended because of the drastic drop in their numbers. Oahu Point was only reoccupied for breeding in 1990, and about 600 fur seal pups were born there in 2004. Seals are a protected species in New Zealand.
Please investigate and fully prosectute those responsible for this brutal and senseless crime.
New Zealand Prime Minister
Rt Hon John Key
Care of Distribution ServicesParliament BuildingsWellington, New Zealand 6160
Minister of Conservation
Hon Kate Wilkinson
PO Box 18888