CHATHAM (CBS) – Five gray seals have been found shot to death on Cape Cod beaches in recent weeks.

According to the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s Marine Mammal Rescue and Research team, all five seals died from those gunshot wounds.

The killings have stunned enviornmental officials.

“We work really hard to rescue these guys and to have other humans do this to them, it’s tough, it definitely is tough,” said Sarah Sharpe, the stranding coordinator with the IFAW.

WBZ-TV’s Jim Armstrong reports

The dead seals have turned up on beaches from Dennis to Chatham.

“These animals are suffering greatly, said Special Agent Todd Nickerson of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Law Enforcement. “We are taking these crimes very seriously and are strongly encouraging anyone with information to call.”

Gray seals are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Killing them is a federal offense.

“The bottom line is that the perpetrators are breaking the law and animals are suffering and dying as a result,” said Katie Moore, manager of the IFAW team.

If you see a live or dead stranded marine mammal, you’re asked to 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.

WBZ-TV’s Jim Armstrong contributed to this report

Comments (72)
  1. Sean says:

    This makes me SICK!!! I love when I am on my board waiting for a set and the little seals pop up an dplay with my lease or just jump around me. What is wrong with you people shooting thiese harmless animals.

    1. Jobless says:

      I’m hungry

      1. JSPiN says:

        No wonder your hungry!! You should try cancelling your internet service and maybe you can get aa happy meal! Ignorance is bliss!!!

    2. FugginMorons says:

      Clearly they didnt kill them to eat them if they left them dead on the beach. The fact it was a bullet is of no consequence, it’s where the round hit. The article doesn’t mention where they were shot but if I shot you in your foot instead of your face, you would probably suffer and not die.

      If someone shot them for food then who am I to argue. But to shoot them and leave them dead on the beach is animal cruelty. Typically animal cruelty is perpetrated by molestation/abuse victims. They feel helpless so they take it out on innocent animals.

      Humans. I can’t wait til we are all exctinct.

      1. Flint says:

        It isn’t cruelty after they’re dead. They were just like sunbathing seal corpses. It’s not as if they were sissected alive, you should start crying for the Daisy the cows in slaughterhoses. Got aby veal?

    3. An Observer says:

      As someone who’s both anti-abortion and anti-death penalty, I wonder why there’s so much silence from the anti-abortion abortion (pro-life) movement about the executions of prisoners.

    4. baker says:

      @Julie – not everything has to be compared to abortion. You can be for animals and also want abortion to be an option for humans in tough situations. I know you can see this. And @AnObserver – a valid point but are you really comparing the innocent unborn to a convicted rapist-murderer on death row? Because they are not the same and do not rate the same defense.

    5. Oregon Snowman says:

      Man, are you people around Cape Cod in luck!! … It just so happens that we (the salmon fishermen along the Columbia River between Oregon and Washington) have a whole bunch of Sea Lions that we will gladly send you to replace those gray seals! These sloths do nothing but lay around on boat docks (sinking them) and then eat our salmon (usually taking one big bite out of the center of the salmon and leaving the rest of it to just rot)… So, you just let us know when and where you want ’em!

      1. woodNfish says:

        Oh FugginMorons, please give us a personal demonstration of how you will go extinct! Please, pretty please! I can’t wait either! The sooner we are rid of misnthropes like you the better.

    6. Dave says:

      Not really a good forum to bring up abortion Makes you look like you have a one track mind. I am against abortion and harm to adny innocents.

  2. Walt C says:

    Non of them were with Team 6 were they? What? Oh, not those Seals. The little fury circus kind? Ohh, what kind of idiot would shoot a defenseless seal?

  3. Shannon says:

    @ Julie who said anything about aborted babies and if you group all people who are supposed be tree hugging seal lovers for automatically aborting babies maybe you should really get your head out of your ass and go post somewhere else …. You sound completely insane . I would rather have been aborted then raised by a hateful person like yourself when someone can’t post they feel sorry for a seal and now they are suddenly aborting fetuses all over the place …. Get real woman !

    1. Omeca TwilightPrincess Kelly says:

      She was commenting on people’s objection to killing baby seals, but no one has an objection to killing babies. Actually she is making a comment on American culture. This comment has a lot do do with the social theme of this story and America. :-)

      1. Willow says:

        OTPK, I absolutely agree with you and I think Shannon should probably get her head out of her a$$!

    2. dammad says:

      Hey, Shannon, get your head out of the seal’s – well, you know. Oh, and stop the liberal name calling. When you have to revert to name caling, your argument is – well, you know – TOAST – to use a anachronim. Oh, maybe your desie should be granted – there is something you can do about it. Is your comment akin to drunk dialing? Or is it just stupid?

    3. HumanLover says:

      @Shannon……you are obviously a tree hugging seal lover who has no Gia ms about killing babies. You prove Julie’s point.

      Case closed!

  4. Doug says:

    Shooting seal is not only immoral but illegal as well. I hope they catch the perps. I am a gun owner and competetive shooter and incidents like this are a huge negative for gun rights

    1. Marie says:

      Doug: You can be sure that it isn’t a lawbiding gun owner.

    2. seals squeal says:

      how is it immoral? its ok to eat a cute little chicken that’s been raised in a cage, but when it comes seals they are suddenly off limits?

      1. FugginMorons says:

        I think its illegal to shoot chickens dead on the beach too.

        But I get your point about hypocrisy. Why can’t we eat dogs but we can feed baby chickens to a grinder while they are still alive.

    3. dammad says:

      Immoral? Do you have a moral code to which you are referring? You did not mention one; so, the conclusion is nah, you don’t have one. You may not like the act but to make the raher surious claim that is is immoral is self-serving. It might be asked what you think is immoral beyond shooting seals. Abortion? Muder? Lying? Stealing? Adultery? Same sex sex? Got an idea?

      1. Doug says:

        I know the difference between right and wrong. So do you.

    4. woodNfish says:

      Marine mammals should have an open hunting season on them every year. The only reason these seals were not eaten is because it is a felony. There is no reason for them to be protected as they are. They are not endangered.

  5. GuestWorker says:

    So close to the Kennedy Emperial Castle and the Home of Sir John Kerry? A round up of all registered gun owners should happen.

  6. Edmond Day says:

    The seal shooter(s) are future Con Weiner. Fires, animal abuse, child abuse, murder, it is a progression.

    America is turning into a colony populated by weiners.

  7. Joe says:

    Al Qeda reprisal for seal attack on Bin Laden no doubt :)

  8. Joe Klip says:

    The culprit must be some lelf-wing environmentalist zealot who kill these seal to reduce their carbon footprint.

    1. Smoke and Mirrors says:

      Or an enviro-mental-ist sacrificing these seals for a complete gun and hunting ban.

  9. Truth In Spending says:

    Harmless? Years ago Cape Cod had a bounty on seals. They paid so much per nose. They didn’t do this because the cute furry creatures were tooting horns or balancing balls on their noses.

    You have no idea of the damage these critters can do to gear fishermen use to make a living. If they interfered with your making a living you wouldn’t think they are so cute.

    1. woodNfish says:

      There should be an open hunting season on them to reduce their numbers and increase hunting license sales. There is no reason for them to be protected as they are.

      And it probably was fishermen or lobstermen who did it. Can’t blame them. These killings will keep happening as long as it is illegal.

  10. Marc Stump says:

    It’s the fishermen! Hello!! They don’t like the seals because they eat the fish! We have the same problem out on the west coast(SF) They wern’t shooting them but were trying to keep them out of the bay.

    1. MassExodus says:

      To be more precise, it’s the Lobstermen.
      It’s a known practice thats gone on forever.

      Not that I agree with shooting them, but do you have any idea how many lobster ONE seal will go through in a day ?
      Dozens . . .
      Couple that with the economic conditions put upon these people with Mass rediculous taxes, fees etc . . I can see the frustration leading to seal-a-cide.

  11. Willow says:

    Let’s just shoot everything that gets in our way, right? I hate the killing of innocent animals, and innocent human babies. Both make me sick.

    1. FugginMorons says:

      Or innocent Iraqis and afghans. some estimates say we have killed 100,000 innocent Iraqis. Some country we are. Fat, dumb and happy.

    2. dammad says:

      Hey, Willow, what”s innocent about an animal? Were they charged with a crime? Did they lie to Mommy about where they were on Saturday night? What you did was anthropomorphjze animals. That means you treated them as if they were human. This may be a surpise to yuoi THEY ARE NOT HUMAN. Get it?

      1. Willow says:

        I get it…DO YOU?? I’ve had animals who are kinder and more loving then most people I know. And, yes, I hate that war also takes the life of people who are caught in the crossfire of extremists who want to takeover the world. All living things deserve a chance at life.

  12. Bill Jones says:

    Probably uniion thugs. SEIU

  13. Flint says:

    I think seals look cute with their brains blown out. They’re pests and attack fish stocks, they’re eaten every day by whales, anyway.

    1. Loves Life says:

      Real sick! Seals live in the ocean and eat fish. They’re doing exactly what they’ve done since the beginning. We are the ones who are invading THEIR space. They’re wild animals. where are they supposed to go? People like you really make me sick. And we’re called the “human” race?

      1. Flint says:

        What are you talking about? With your sentiments we should kill the whales because they eat stupid seals. Seals have to be kept down, even those protected by greenie, idiot environmentalists. I think I’ll go barbie a veal steak. Seals decimated fisk stocls up in Canada because of enviro-rubbish like this.

      2. Jobless says:

        Why can’t the seals eat grass and leave the innocent fish alone. Seals have evolved beyond the fish and can go ashore to eat the grass and leave the fish to THEIR space. Real sick! Fish eating seals really make me sick. And they call them cute?

  14. brdg says:

    Muslims trying to take revenge on any non-muslim seal they can find.

  15. rex dart eskimo spy says:

    how can you be certain these seals didnt belong to a cult and kill themselves? they might have been despondent over reports of man made global warming and all the failures in passing cap n trade.

    1. Flint says:

      I know, those seals are vicious animals and they shouldn’t eat poor little fishes at all. There’s nuts and berries and tofu turkey which they can easily eat..

  16. Numbnutz says:

    That really sucks, you know, after they did all that good getting Bin Ladin and you know, not telling which one actually pulled the trigger and shot him. Hope it remains a secret as to which seal on the team got him. What happen to the number 6 on the seal team, did he get away?

  17. Flint says:

    I think the Cape Cod seals must be undercover guys. Seals usually wear black but they were dressed in grey. But as far as I can tell, they do eat raw fish meat.

    Are whales fascist Islamists?

  18. Mike00ss says:

    Pretty funny comments. I guess the locals aren’t nearly as concerned as the envirocops….

  19. Rod Anders says:

    Let me mete out the punishment and this BS will stop really quick!

    1. Flint says:

      Are you going to seal the vicious killers fates?

  20. David Guerrero says:

    al-Qaeda must have gotten confused about who got Bin Laden.

  21. watcher6 says:

    If I were investigating this, I’d be looking at commercial fishermen..

  22. Josh says:

    Seals have become overabundant. They are destroying the habitat they share. They are at an unsustainable population density, with huge impacts on fish, beach quality, recreation, etc. and have no meaningful predators. Protecting them once made sense, long ago. Now they should be hunted to provide food and fur. Oh sure, the animal rights goofs will complain, but so what? They aren’t grounded in reality. The reality is that these are animals like deer and squirrels and it’s time to put them on the same wildlife menu.

    1. woodNfish says:

      Agreed. We should be able to buy seal meat in the grocery store, and there should be an open hunting season on them.

  23. Tony says:

    I’d rather be shot in the head than eat’n by a shark… just saying.

  24. jk says:

    I don’t agree with killing seals but if you’re going to do it, at least take it with you for food. Killing without reason like this and wasting such precious life and resources is disgraceful and disgusting.

    1. Flint says:

      It isn’t killing without reason when done in order to control numbers and preserve fish stocks and livelehoods. It’s dome with the wolves up in Alaska in order to protect moose and deer populations. If enviro-nuts protect a species because it looks cute, they’re being detrimental to human beings. A human being comes before any wild animal, especially just because the latter looks cute. I’d take a guess the seal protectors on here wouldn’t bother as much if it were alligators or anacondas being killed?

  25. Flint says:

    Eskimos seem to have survived on seal meat for a while, and used their fur. I’ve been told seal meat is quite good. I’d try it, a seal steak appeals to me, it’s no different from eating Daisy the cow,

  26. scott says:

    i just returned from cape cod. locals are concerned about the dramatic increase in white sharks in local waters. as the seal population has increased in chatham, so have the white sharks. its to the point where they have spotter planes and have to pull people out of the water when a shark is spotted. the cape depends on tourism and a “jaws” style summer is in the offing if the seals are not (offed that is).

    im all for protecting nature, but there is going to be a Mrs. Kitner moment if nothing is done about the sharks/seals

    1. jimmy says:

      truest thing you will find said here. sounds like some of you would rather see a seal killed than a person. Thats messed up. And for all you people who think the seals are SO CUTE, i DARE you to try and pet one. Things will take your hand off in one chomp. Then we will see how cute you think they are…

  27. Flint says:

    Seals breed like rabbits, it isn’t outright protection they need. what’s required is control of their numbers through culling. But, they have such nice eyes, so it’s cruel to kill them as far as the enviro-nuts are concerned.

  28. Beachguy53 says:

    Sounds like Massachusetts has a real State Seal.

  29. mmmm eat da kitties says:

    Seals are a pain in the rear and they are not endangered. They are a nuisance like kittens, especially the little furry ones.

  30. Tyler says:

    As much as shooting a seal must be, is going to prison for it really worth it?

  31. Tabbed Ranger says:

    Well, as usual the long haired leaping gnomes have not made any sense or used any logic in their seal hugging diatribes here. Typical of the left is the knee jerk reactionism so vividly displayed regarding ” protecting animals ” and ” cruelty “. The real conservationists here understand the reality of the macro issue. I say let the seals alone. Allow all the Great Whites to come on in and feast on the seals. Throw a few ” save the earth parties ” along the Cape with water polo tournaments and swimming competitions for all the moonbats that attend. Provide free use of black and grey neoprene suits for the participants and maybe we can cull the real perpetrators of the problems we face environmentally…. The long haired leaping gnome/ moonbat / animal rights activists aka: Communists in green.

    1. tsal says:

      Does that then translate to typical of the right to feel more important than anyone smaller, less wealthy, somehow inferior and simply eliminate them. Oh wait, that was a foolish comment – but no more foolish than the Typical of the left comment. As someone said above – when you have to revert to name calling your argument is TOAST.

      1. Flint says:

        I consider myself superior to all wild animals, how about you? Do you consider youreslf on an equal footing with a dung beetle?

  32. Josh says:

    Carrying capacity is the issue here. All five coastal seal species are nowhere near endangered. Their special protection status stems from long ago when all marine mammals were in trouble. Now about half of the whale species are still in trouble. None of the seals are in trouble and their unsustainable populations are overwhelming the physical and social carrying capacity of the habitat they SHARE with other animals, including humans, who have just as much right to be there as the seals, sharks, fish. Etc We are all part of the ecosystem. Need fewer seals. Everyone learn to eat seal.

  33. I do enjoy the way you have framed this matter and it does provide me personally some fodder for consideration. However, through what precisely I have experienced, I just trust when the actual remarks stack on that individuals continue to be on point and not start upon a soap box of the news du jour. Still, thank you for this exceptional piece and while I do not necessarily agree with this in totality, I regard your point of view.

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