Seal Pups Clubbed to Death in Sanctuary

Some 24 animals killed over several days in popular New Zealand spot
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Dec 6, 2010 3:01 AM CST
New Zealand Department of Conservation officer Phil Bradfield stands next to several dead seals near Kaikoura on New Zealand's South Island.   (AP Photo/New Zealand Department of Conservation)

(Newser) – Several fur seals, including newborn pups, were clubbed to death in a popular New Zealand sanctuary over several days, officials said today. Killers using clubs or bats slaughtered some two dozen animals in an isolated area of the Ohau Point colony seal breeding ground, reports AP; many more animals are expected to die because their mothers were bludgeoned.

The condition of the carcasses and the wounds indicated the attackers had returned several times to the scene, possibly for as long as two weeks. The unskinned bodies were merely left where the animals were killed. Officials condemned the attacks as particularly brutal and senseless, and asked for the public's help to track the killers. "You have to question the state of mind of someone who can carry out such a cruel and abhorrent attack," said New Zealand's conservation minister.

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