‘Made my blood run cold’: Four men arrested for stoning trapped seal at Cape Town beach

'Made my blood run cold': Four men arrested for stoning trapped seal at Cape Town beach
'Made my blood run cold': Four men arrested for stoning trapped seal at Cape Town beach

Africa-Press – South-Africa. A trapped Cape fur seal had to be euthanised after it was attacked and stoned by four men at Monwabisi Beach in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, on Sunday.

The four suspects have since been arrested after being caught stoning the seal after Law Enforcement and the SPCA were alerted by concerned onlookers.

SPCA spokesperson Chief Inspector Jaco Pieterse said the group of men were trying to kill an adult Cape fur seal by throwing big rocks at it, while it was trapped and unable to escape the attack.

He said the seal had been rushed to a private 24-hour veterinary practice where it was humanely euthanised due to the severity of its injuries.

The attending veterinarian reported that the seal had suffered severe facial and skull fractures, was bleeding profusely from the mouth, had one of its eyes crushed and that most of its teeth had been completely broken off in its mouth.

SPCA wildlife officer Jon Friedman said, “Seeing the broken condition this animal was in when it was carried off the beach made my blood run cold. Not in 37 years of working in wildlife welfare have I seen such a case of abject cruelty visited on a defenceless animal that was in all likelihood just minding its own business. ”

It is reported that the alleged motive for the attack was that the men had been tasked to do so by a traditional healer who offered them R3 000.

Animal Cruelty charges have been laid against the men, as well as charges of hunting a protected species without a permit.

“We are trying to trace the traditional healer and will then pursue further charges,” said Pieterse.

Deputy Mayor and Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment Eddie Andrews said this was one of the most brutal attacks on wildlife in recent times.

“One cannot fathom the pain and stress the seal had to endure while this was happening. I am shocked and horrified, and call on the public to please keep on notifying us when they see animals being attacked, harmed or in distress,” he said.

“Cape Town is fortunate to have a coastline that is teeming with wildlife. We need to respect and treasure these animals. We have said it many times before, but I want to remind the public to please keep a safe and respectful distance from marine animals at all times and to not interfere with or feed them. Pets should be removed where wildlife is present.”

Pieterse said: “We will ensure that justice is served in the name of this seal. Torturing any animal is unacceptable and the suspects must face the full might of the law.”

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