Saturday, March 31, 2012

Seal found shot dead on riverbank ‘after anglers blamed it for eating all the fish’, River Wyre in Great Eccleston, near Fleetwood

A seal has been found shot dead on a river bank after anglers complained it had been 'making hay with the fish'.

Police confirmed they had launched an investigation into the seal's death amid fears it could have fallen victim to a disgruntled fisherman, furious that it had been eating his catch.

The young male common seal was first spotted on the River Wyre in the Lancashire village of Great Eccleston in early January after two of the animals were apparently blown in from the Irish Sea.

Within weeks of their arrival, the angling association in nearby St Michaels posted on its website: 'As you may have read by now there are a pair of seals making hay with the fish in the river at St Michaels and upstream.'

The dead seal was found on Wednesday under a footbridge.

Officers said a vet would be carrying out a post-mortem examination to recover the bullet and determine what type of gun was used.

Seals are protected species under the Conservation of Seals Act 1970 and it is illegal to shoot them without a licence.

Wildlife officer PC Mark Thomas, of Lancashire Constabulary, said he was 'appalled and disgusted' by the shooting. Read More