Decapitated seals found at Kerry Seal Sanctuary

SealHeadDingleSealSanctuaryTwo decapitated seal heads were found pinned to boards on the premises of the Dingle Seal Sanctuary in Co. Kerry this morning.

Volunteers at the Sanctuary made the gruesome discover shortly after 9am this morning. The young seals’ decapitated heads had been mounted on boards and fixed to the sanctuary’s signage. Letters RIP and CULL were emblazoned across the boards in red paint.

Gardai investigating the incident told reporters that red paint was also used too daub the shape of a cross on the seals’ foreheads.

“I wanted to be sick when I saw them,” Ally McMillan, Animal Manager at the sanctuary, said. “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.”

The overriding suspicion is that the young common seals, thought to be about 6 months old, were targeted by people who oppose the sanctuary’s rehabilitation of wild seals, and who, with no scientific basis, believe seals are responsible for decimating local fish stocks.

Photo Credit: Ally McMillan, Dingle Wildlife & Seal Sanctuary

About Calvin Jones

Calvin Jones is a freelance writer, author, birder and lifelong wildlife enthusiast. He is founder and managing editor of He is also the tour leader and wildlife guide on our West Cork based Discover Wildlife tours.
Calvin is also co-author of bestselling digital marketing titles and offers digital business consulting services and training through Digital Marketing Success


  1. Sarah Clarke says:

    This is disgusting and whoever did this should go to prison for at least 5 years for it.

  2. Ulla Harris says:

    There was an extensive article in this weeks Kerryman with photo of dingle fishermen and their distroyed catch by seals . They are calling for culls , because they are losing soo much money through the animals …. but THIS is NOT the answer !!!! : ((((

    • When you trap a high concentration of food in one easy-to-access location you’re obviously going to attract the attention of predators. The seals are just taking advantage of a readily available food source. There’s no easy answer, and a cull may or may not be called for — but if it is on the cards it needs to be based on research and sound scientific advice. Knee jerk reactions like this do nothing to help the situation, and just divide communities and drive a wedge between people who ultimately need to work together to find a solution.

      Dingle relies on it natural heritage for the bulk of its tourist income… what sort of message is this sending to the rest of the country and the world about Dingle as a nature-tourism destination? I wonder whether, in purely financial terms, this will do more damage to the local economy than the loss of a few fish to seals.

  3. frank says:

    “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the
    way its animals are treated.” –Ghandi


  1. […] June of this year the persecution of seals hit the headlines when the decapitated heads of two common seals were nailed to boards outside the Dingle Seal Sanctuary in Co. Kerry, while back in February two […]

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