5 Gray Seals Found Shot On Cape Cod

Biologists in Massachusetts recently announced that over the last six weeks, five adult gray seals were found shot on Cape Cod beaches.

Biologists from the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s Marine Mammal Rescue and Research team discovered the cases in the course of standard stranding response efforts.

Although it is not uncommon for grey seals to become stranded on Massachusetts beaches during this time of year, scientists say that the presence of noticeable external wounds make these cases different.

In two of the five instances, trained staff members recognized external wounds on the seals as gunshot wounds. As a result, all seal strandings are being more closely examined for evidence of human interactions, including gunshots.

CT scans and subsequent dissection, fragments and all other ballistic evidence is currently being analyzed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Office of Law Enforcement (OLE) Special Agents.

All five seals appear to have died as result of the gunshot wounds.

Gray seals are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. This federal law prohibits the harassment and killing of all marine mammals and violations can result in both civil and criminal penalties. 

“These animals are suffering greatly. We are taking these crimes very seriously and are strongly encouraging anyone with information to call,” said Special Agent Todd Nickerson of NOAA OLE.

If you see a live or dead stranded marine mammal, please report it to the IFAW stranding hotline at 508-743-9548.  If you have any information regarding the above cases, please contact Special Agent Nickerson at 508-990-8752.

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Image Credit: Flickr - spencer77


malcolm c.
malcolm c6 years ago

I have no doubt..that the perpetrator,or perpetrators' of this crime..are sad little "men"..
One day..they will get what they deserve...hopefully!

Mandi A.
Amanda A6 years ago

What was going on through that monsters head? People like that are bound to only continue to harm and kill. This is an old article, so hopefully by now, they have found the person/people.. Can't wait until there is a harsher punishment for these types of crimes..

Geri B.
Geri Brenia6 years ago

How could you stand their with a gun an shoot something so innocent. They have the most adorable faces.

Nelson Petrie
Nelson Petrie6 years ago

Yes Dawn, you're right! They should go to jail....but I'd go one step further. These seal killers should be shot like the way they shot those innocent seals. As long as you Americans are gun crazy, the killer instinct will remain and the victim of your instinct will be the innocent creatures of God who cannot fight back, So, go out there and PROTEST LOUDLY AND CLEARLY AGAINST KILLING AND AGAINST GUNS before Americans end up killing themselves and all living things.

conen j.
JUNE CONEN6 years ago

How callous and cruel - the poor defenseless seals - catch the culprits and beat them - send them to jail and throw away the key!

dawn w.
Dawn W6 years ago

Another stupid poll question.Of course they should go to jail! I'm so tired of hearing stories like this.What the hell is going on in this world?There are some sick people in the world-a lot,actually.

Hope S.
Hope Sellers6 years ago

There seems to be an increase in people with no redeeming qualities. Perhaps a long term in hard labor cleaning up the environment would give them a new view on life. At least we would have a cleaner environment.

Anja N.
Justin R6 years ago

Hunt the killer(s) and send them to 20 years of hard labour!
Or follow the Old Testament: An Eye for an Eye!

Dolores Dendy
Dolores Dendy6 years ago

I agree with Frank Pickens, give them a good beating! It's sad that anyone feels the need to shoot an innocent animal. They deserve to live just as much as humans!

Tiffany L.
Tiffany L6 years ago