An injured Elephant seal has drawn a crowd of onlookers at Goose Bay, Kaikoura.
The seal crawled ashore with a large open wound on its back, probably caused by a spear-gun attack (although marine tourism bodies will be keen to downplay that aspect of the story). Read “Elephant seal with speargun wound attracts crowds in Kaikoura” from Stuff.co.nz.
“…The more than 3-metre long seal appears to have been shot in the back with a speargun, an incident thought to have influenced its decision to make a rare appearance on dry land on this region of the South Island coast.
People travelling along State Highway 1 at Goose Bay, 16km south of Kaikoura stopped to watch – and in some cases touch – the seemingly placid mammal…”
The Kaikoura coastline already has a dubious reputation for senseless seal and seabird attacks.
In March last year dozens of sea birds were found shot to death on Kaikoura’s wharf after someone lured them with food and shot them as they ate. As if that wasn’t sufficient their killer then drove over their injured and dying bodies. That wasn’t the first time birds had been slaughtered on the wharf, there were two other incidents in July 2011, plus others in previous years.
In July of the previous year, fur seals were shot in Kaikoura. An adult female and a young pup were found dead with large gunshot wounds to their heads at Ohau Point, it followed the clubbing of 26 seals at the Ohau Point colony in December 2010 (see pictures below). It is believed the seals and their pups were killed to protect local fish stocks.
But it’s not just the marine life that gets brutalized. Humans are also preyed on too. The area is extremely popular with hunters during the annual “roar” and local landowners have asked for hunting to be banned near to public roads.
“…Shooting a firearm on a public road – as long as it is not endangering lives – is actually legal, but farmers in the Puhi Puhi and Blue Duck Valleys north of Kaikoura do not think it should be.
And they think a ban would crack down on poaching, which they say only gets worse in the coming weeks going into the roar (the deer breeding season) after first frost at the end of March and start of April…source (March 2015)
Kaikoura New Zealand Spearfishing
As the video below shows, the waters off Kaikoura are popular with spearfishers, and seals. Use this link https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=kaikoura+spearfishing to find more videos like this one
Raft hunting video on the Clarence River, Kaikoura – chamois, pigs and goats
An example of the blood sports practiced in Kaikoura may be seen in this YouTube video, viewer discretion is advised. You may be forgiven for thinking sections of the film bear a resemblance to scenes from Deliverance
Alcohol and guns
Unfortunately and alcohol and guns never mix, as this except from a article from March 2012 demonstrates.
There was a firearm incident at around 5.15am last Saturday morning in Kaikoura.
Police Sargent Barry Hansen said a man pulled a firearm on another man and “chased him round town” he didn’t have any information as to whether the two men were known to each other.
Senior constable, Andy Grant, in his weekly column for the Kaikoura Star wrote movingly about how a friend of his was killed in a tragic hunting accident…
Edit Jan 2016: Since this article was written the police’s weekly column in the Kaikoura Star has been discontinued.
Maybe it’s time to tone down blood sports in the area, and live up to the reputation the town has wildlife conservation? Not only will the animals be protected but the town’s name and international reputation may also get a boost.
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