Investigation into seal stabbings

Six Cape Fur seals with stab wounds washed ashore at Kommetjie’s Long Beach, a day before World Ocean Day, which is celebrated annually on June 8. Officials from the City’s coastal management branch assessed the carcasses, and decided, based on the unusual wounds that further investigation was needed. After consultation with both the national Department of Forestry, Fisheries, and the Environment (DFFE) and the Cape of Good Hope SPCA, it was decided to take all six carcasses – three males and three females – for full post-mortems to determine the cause of death. The post-mortems, conducted by Sea Search and a wildlife forensics team, confirmed that all six seals had been stabbed, most likely while at sea, and had then drowned and washed ashore. SPCA wildlife supervisor Jon Friedman said the wounds were all identical and made by the same weapon and only the depths of the wounds differed. Some of the wounds, he said, pierced the heart and lungs while others hit bone and damaged organs. Two of the female seals were pregnant and the two unborn pups were killed as well.