Subject: Case Study: Seal Slashing Question

Michael Williamson (whe_william)
Mon, 12 Jan 1995 19:52:27

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Date: Thu, 12 Jan 1995 19:39:43 -0500 (EST)
From: Michael Williamson <WHE_WILLIAM@FLO.ORG>
Subject: Case Study: Seal Slashing Question
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From:	SMTP%"MARMAM@UVVM.BITNET" 12-JAN-1995 14:23:32.60
Subj:	Re: Seals found slashed in NY
Date:         Thu, 12 Jan 1995 11:19:21 PST
Reply-To:     Marine Mammals Research and Conservation Discussion
Sender:       Marine Mammals Research and Conservation Discussion
From:         wayne stobo <w_stobo@BIONET.BIO.DFO.CA>
Subject:      Re: Seals found slashed in NY
To:           Multiple recipients of list MARMAM <MARMAM@UVVM.BITNET>
----------------------------Original message----------------------------
>Seals found slashed in NY
>     NEW YORK, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Three harbor seals have been viciously
>slashed in the Atlantic Ocean off the Long Island coast over the past
>few months, prompting a federal investigation into the matter, it was
>announced Tuesday.
>   The latest victim, a 6-month-old female, was rescued Monday, but her
>chances for survival are slim.
>   "We don't know if she's going to survive," said Kim Durham, staff
>biologist for Okeanos, a non profit organization that runs the state's
>Marine Mammal Stranded Program.
>   "The two other animals died from infections, basically they died
>from blood poisoning brought on by their wounds," she said.
>   Harbor seals are small mammals, weighing between 40 and 50 pounds.
>   Okeanos workers picked up the first slashed seal on Nov. 8. All three
>were found at the eastern tip of Long Island, the latest near the Fire
>Island lighthouse.
>   "At this point we have no idea who did this or why," Durham said.
>"These animals all federally protected," she added. "Technically it's
>against the law to even feed them."
>   The seals migrate to Long Island during the winter months and dozens
>of them can be seen at low tide on clear days sunning themselves on the
>   "Usually it's a pretty nice life," Durham said.
>   Durham said the National Marine Fishery Service, the Department of
>Environmental Conservation and the U.S. Coast Guard are all involved in
>investigating the slashings.
Hi, Wayne Stobo responding to your note on harbor seal slashing.  Are you
certain that it is not a shark attack?  Over the last several years we have
found harbor seal pups (25-50 lbs.) which have been killed by shark attacks
- but the appearance of the pelt is that someone, or something, took a
razor and sliced them from head to tail, one or more times (when more than
once, the slashes are parallel); when the pelt is put back together it
appears as a corkscrew slash in most cases.  We are certain that these are
shark attacks and a colleague of mine is researching the species of shark
which may be responsible.  Please have Ms. Durham or the appropriate
authority contact me if they wish more information.
Dr. Wayne Stobo (
Marine Fish Division
Bedford Institute of Oceanography
P.O. Box 1006
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
B2Y 4A2
902-426-3316 (voice)
902-426-1506 (FAX)