What the hell happened at Dingle Seal Sanctuary last night? 10 years ago

What the hell happened at Dingle Seal Sanctuary last night?

Anyone arriving at Dingle seal sanctuary early this morning were greeted with a very grim sight; two severed baby seal heads nailed to a sign. What’s going on?

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Jesus, this isn’t a very pleasant story?

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No, it’s a bit of a shocker.

So, what happened?

Well, according to reports, those responsible for the Dingle Wildlife and Seal Sanctuary in Co Kerry turned up this morning to open up but they found an extremely grisly scene waiting for them.

What exactly did they find?

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Hopefully you’re not too squeamish but according to reports two baby seal heads, with no sign of the bodies, were nailed to a piece of wood and the wood was drilled into a sign outside the sanctuary.

Alongside that appalling vista was a sign saying ‘RIP, Cull’.

What does that mean?

It is presumed that the sign is a very over the top bid calling for a reduction in the number of seals in the area. Seals do eat a lot of fish, so an increase in their numbers may be blamed by some for falling returns for local fishermen.

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Is there any evidence for seals affecting fishermen directly?

The Marine Times recently ran a picture showing large amounts of mutilated monkfish caught in Dingle which the fishermen claim was caused by seals attacking their nets. There does seem to be an issue in the area, but whatever the rights and wrongs, it is impossible to defend what happened last night.

What have those who work at the sanctuary had to say?

Animal manager Ally McMillan spoke to the Irish Independent. "It was sickening," said McMillan. "I wanted to be sick when I saw them.

"We were very worried because we have two seals here at the moment that are about ready to be released, but it wasn't them."

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McMillan went on to say that she is aware of the calls by some for a reduction in numbers but work must be put in before people take action themselves.

"I am from Australia and we cull kangaroos if there are too many, but there's research done first.

"If they did that here and did proper research and counted seals in the Irish waters and found the population too high there could be a cull humanely.

"For people just to take it in to their own hands and club or shot a seal is sickening."

What happens now?

The Gardai have taken the heads and sign away and an investigation has begun.

Let’s hope there are no repeat incidents, then.

Indeed, it's not exactly great publicity for a town that relies on tourists.