Four suspects have been taken into custody following a brutal stoning of an adult Cape fur seal yesterday evening on Monwabisi Beach, Khayelitsha.
CAPE TOWN, 09 January 2023 – The Cape of Good Hope SPCA was alerted to the fact that a group of men were observed trying to kill an adult Cape fur seal by throwing big rocks at it whilst it was trapped and unable to escape on Monwabisi Beach at around 6pm on Sunday evening.
Swift action by a City of Cape Town Law Enforcement Officer on the scene ensured that the suspects were stopped in their tracks and detained until SPCA Inspector Werner Taljaard and trainee inspector Eugene Links could arrive to rescue the seal.
The seal was rushed to a private 24-hour veterinary practice where it was humanely euthanised due to the severity of injuries it had sustained in the stoning.
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.
“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 defenseless animal that was in all likelihood just minding its own business,” said SPCA Wildlife Officer Jon Friedman.
According to one of the suspects who was questioned as to what their motive was in trying to kill the seal, he explained that he and a group of friends had been approached by a traditional healer who pointed out the seal to them and offered them R3000 (three thousand rand) to kill the seal.
Animal Cruelty charges have been laid against the suspects in terms of the Animals Protection Act 71 of 1962 at the Harare South African Police Service (SAPS), as well as charges of hunting a protected species without a permit, which is an offence under the Threatened or Protected Marine Species (ToPS) Regulations of 2017, read together with the National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act (NEMBA) 10 of 2004.
“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,” said SPCA Chief Inspector Jaco Pieterse.
The SPCA thanks City of Cape Town Law Enforcement Officers for their quick action, decisive intervention and for assisting the SPCA in getting the injured seal off the beach.
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