Six baby seals found decapitated in New Zealand
Six baby seals have been found decapitated in New Zealand.
The bodies of the seal pups were discovered earlier this week at Scenery Nook near the South Island city of Christchurch.
The department of conservation said the seals were found by a tourism operator on Monday.
They are believed to have been 11 months old when they were killed.
Radio New Zealand reports that Andy Thompson, the department's local operations manager, called the act "cruel and senseless" and said that the incident has been reported to New Zealand police.
"Due to the disturbing, brutal and violent nature of this crime (...) it has been reported to the police," he said.
"We believe it's incredibly unlikely sharks would have bitten the heads off six seals, but left the bodies untouched.
"Regrettably, antagonism towards seals is often due to the misplaced belief that seals are eating large amounts of fish species valued for human consumption."
Thompson explained that whoever killed the seals might have mistakenly thought that the animals were competing for fish.
This is untrue as 90 percent of this specific kind of seal's diet consists of lantern fish, which are not sought after in fishing.
The seal's heads could not be found.