An €18,000 reward has been established by activists on the agreed island of Alonissos after what has been called “deliberate slaying” of an endangered monk seal who was beloved as the island’s mascot.
Named after the fisherman who saved him during a storm, three-year-old Kostis was found dead after being shot with a long harpoon.
“Unfortunately, yet again, it is proven that human wickedness and stupidity have no limits,” according to a statement from the Hellenic Society for the Preservation of the Monk Seal, also known by its Greek an acronym MOM.
It is estimated by preservationists that less than 750 Mediterranean monk seals remain in the wild, classifying them as one of the world’s most endangered species. Most of them inhabit Greek waters, primarily in a marine park near Alonissos in the Northern Sporades, as well as in the waters around Crete.
MOM said that spear markings and wounds on Kostis’ body proved the act wasn’t an accident, adding in their statement that Kostis was “executed at close range with a spear gun.”
“Everything points to this being done on purpose,” said Panagiotis Dendrinos, a representative of MOM, “The way the animal was hit, the weapon used. It has greatly saddened and enraged us, and not only us, but also the majority of residents and visitors of Alonissos island, who knew Kostis, this seal that hung around the port,” he told The Guardian in an interview.
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