Bodies of two pregnant seals were discovered by locals in the backwaters of the Walton Channel, Essex, which sparked outrage among the community and appealed to find their killers.
The common seals were shot in the heart with a rifle, concluding their immediate death. Investigators believe they have been deliberately killed by anglers who were angry they interfered with their fishing.
“It was confirmed that all assumptions regarding the death of the seals were in fact correct,” said a spokesman from the Cetacean Stranding Investigation Program (CSIP).
Rob Deavill from CSIP reported that the adult seal was healthy before its death and was pregnant with a two to three-month term foetus.
“The examination found the cause of death to be consistent with the shooting, with a single entry wound between the fore flippers. The bullet had penetrated part of the heart and the edge of the left lung,” Deavill said.
Sea Shepherd UK, a conservation charity that aims to prevent and discourage the illegal killing of seals, offers a reward of £3,000 for anyone who could tell them who the killers were.