Seal Pup Shot - 1st May 2001

A rescued seal pup has been found shot dead at sea just days after being released back into the wild.

The young grey seal pup named Islay was brought back to health by animal lovers at the Seal Sanctuary at Gweek, West Cornwall after being found stranded on a lo cal beach at Penberth Cove.

The female seal was paired up with another rescued pup called Bryher and both we re released at Praa Sands, Cornwall on April 12 in the hope they would join a colony of grey seals already living nearby.

Staff at the sanctuary were shocked when a fisherman found Islay floating at sea wrapped in a fishing net and with a single bullet hole in the head. They have no idea who killed the seal pup or why it was shot but fishermen do have the right to kill seals which are interfering with their catches or nets.

Ellen Preston, animal care supervisor at the sanctuary, said:"A local fisherman was kind enough to tell us he had seen a pup carcass rolled in a fishing net floating on the surface and it had one of our tags on its flipper. "The pup had been shot cleanly through the head. The whole thing is a complete mystery and the staff here are very upset. "We spent a lot of time nursing this animal back to perfect health and getting her back out to sea. This news has come as a bit of a shock."

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