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DPChallenge Forums >> General Discussion >> NOT FOR THE SQUEAMISH! Dead seal pup, eviscerated.
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03/08/2010 12:46:29 PM · #1
This seal pup, quite small, had been dragged up the beach a considerable distance above the normal tide line. Down where it had been dragged from, there was a posted sign saying that the animal was under observation by "IFAW Marine Mammal Rescue" and that there was a $10,000 federal fine for interfering with it in any way. It would have been alive when this sign was posted, and presumably was a nursing pup, or not much older anyway. 100 yards down the beach, near the waterline, was a large female, basking in the early sun.

Anyway, this animal has been attacked down near the sign, then dragged a considerable distance, and then eviscerated as seen in this image. The person who directed me down the beach to view this said that Coyotes had obviously gotten it. We have lots of coyotes here on Cape Cod. They are our only largish predator. Anyway, my question is, can coyotes do such a clean, surgical excision? I've never seen anything like this, no tear-marks, no tattered flesh, no mess except blood. What's going on?

I have a vaguish theory that some human used a knife to take the pelt off the exposed side, wanting sealskin for some purpose, but why only take the exposed side if so? So I wonder, has anyone seen this sort of thing before and what does it mean?

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/30000-34999/30861/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_859347.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/30000-34999/30861/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_859347.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

R.

ETA: I have a bunch more pictures, some in considerably more detail, if anyone has a reason to want to see them...

Message edited by author 2010-03-08 12:47:29.
03/08/2010 12:50:44 PM · #2
Could be, but the flesh does look mangled near the incision. The flipper looks broken. Perhaps it was bitten into after it died, and the dermis sort of split due to expansion of gas from within (coyotes are also carrion eaters). It could have been skinned, but it may very well have simply been predation.
03/08/2010 01:16:21 PM · #3
It does look awfully clean for a coyote attack. :(
03/08/2010 01:21:54 PM · #4
Originally posted by Louis:

Could be, but the flesh does look mangled near the incision. The flipper looks broken. Perhaps it was bitten into after it died, and the dermis sort of split due to expansion of gas from within (coyotes are also carrion eaters). It could have been skinned, but it may very well have simply been predation.


The pup was alive at sunset yesterday; what you see happened overnight. So no gas expansion I don't think.

R.
03/08/2010 02:36:01 PM · #5
Coyotes with switchblades.

...what? it's just a theory.
03/08/2010 02:44:49 PM · #6
Predators have been eating at it at some point (whether they were the original killers, I'm not sure). I base it on the fact that the muscle between the ribs is gone. My guess is a human would have cut the ribs with the meat and extracted the whole thing. It seems like it would be faster that way instead of cutting between each rib and leaving the intact throax.

But that's all CSI and I'm no expert.
03/08/2010 03:20:56 PM · #7
Probably gulls or crows ate the dangling meat and now it looks like it was cut clean. You can see the footprints around the body.
03/08/2010 03:23:12 PM · #8
Call this sicko, she'll eat it raw.
03/08/2010 03:27:06 PM · #9
Rob.......such a waste....

Those cuts are way too regular in shape in that photo, and looks way too clean to be an animal attack. The shape is a major key to this, being very oval. I am no expert on your local wildlife, but I suspect that a person is responsible, either after the pups death, or the cause of the pups death. Without being there and seeing the other evidence, I could not guarentee either way.

My suspicion would be that the pelt was removed and then afterwards, some other creature has then scavenged partly.......a guess would be a bird based on this picture not showing any significant additional damage to the carcass.

Furthermore, the area between the sign and the pup will hold many clues as to why the pup has moved from the original position to its current spot. My suspicion (unfounded without evidence) would be that the person responsible has moved it for some reason, possibly to get away from the waterline while working, however the lack of blood around the carcass also does not make sense..........the carcass has been moved after the death and it seems removal of that pelt (whether it was human or animal), unless the pelt was removed some hours after the pups death..............

Again, no expert, just my opinion based on years of living in country areas and seeing many, many dead wildlife from different causes.

I am hoping that the local authorities are able to catch the person involved and prosecute to the full extent of the law.
03/08/2010 03:30:22 PM · #10
Originally posted by kaiser_chief:

Rob.......such a waste....

Those cuts are way too regular in shape in that photo, and looks way too clean to be an animal attack. The shape is a major key to this, being very oval. I am no expert on your local wildlife, but I suspect that a person is responsible, either after the pups death, or the cause of the pups death. Without being there and seeing the other evidence, I could not guarentee either way.

My suspicion would be that the pelt was removed and then afterwards, some other creature has then scavenged partly.......a guess would be a bird based on this picture not showing any significant additional damage to the carcass.

Furthermore, the area between the sign and the pup will hold many clues as to why the pup has moved from the original position to its current spot. My suspicion (unfounded without evidence) would be that the person responsible has moved it for some reason, possibly to get away from the waterline while working, however the lack of blood around the carcass also does not make sense..........the carcass has been moved after the death and it seems removal of that pelt (whether it was human or animal), unless the pelt was removed some hours after the pups death..............

Again, no expert, just my opinion based on years of living in country areas and seeing many, many dead wildlife from different causes.

I am hoping that the local authorities are able to catch the person involved and prosecute to the full extent of the law.


Yeah let's fine that bastard 50 bucks, that'll change his ways.

Any Eskimos down there Robert?
03/08/2010 03:31:55 PM · #11
Originally posted by Jac:

Originally posted by kaiser_chief:

Rob.......such a waste....

Those cuts are way too regular in shape in that photo, and looks way too clean to be an animal attack. The shape is a major key to this, being very oval. I am no expert on your local wildlife, but I suspect that a person is responsible, either after the pups death, or the cause of the pups death. Without being there and seeing the other evidence, I could not guarentee either way.

My suspicion would be that the pelt was removed and then afterwards, some other creature has then scavenged partly.......a guess would be a bird based on this picture not showing any significant additional damage to the carcass.

Furthermore, the area between the sign and the pup will hold many clues as to why the pup has moved from the original position to its current spot. My suspicion (unfounded without evidence) would be that the person responsible has moved it for some reason, possibly to get away from the waterline while working, however the lack of blood around the carcass also does not make sense..........the carcass has been moved after the death and it seems removal of that pelt (whether it was human or animal), unless the pelt was removed some hours after the pups death..............

Again, no expert, just my opinion based on years of living in country areas and seeing many, many dead wildlife from different causes.

I am hoping that the local authorities are able to catch the person involved and prosecute to the full extent of the law.


Yeah let's fine that bastard 50 bucks, that'll change his ways.

Any Eskimos down there Robert?


based on the OP, the fine for this incident would be more like 10,000; substantially more painful.
03/08/2010 03:33:56 PM · #12
Originally posted by Jac:

Yeah let's fine that bastard 50 bucks, that'll change his ways.


Unfortunately, your laws may b=not be as tough as ours on this...........

Deliberately causing death of a protected species carries a prison term back home, especially if cruelty is involved......
03/08/2010 03:35:31 PM · #13
CSI: Cape Cod ' . substr('//www.kpriest.com/dpchallenge/sm/popcorn.gif', strrpos('//www.kpriest.com/dpchallenge/sm/popcorn.gif', '/') + 1) . '
03/08/2010 03:35:42 PM · #14
Originally posted by kaiser_chief:

Originally posted by Jac:

Yeah let's fine that bastard 50 bucks, that'll change his ways.


Unfortunately, your laws may b=not be as tough as ours on this...........

Deliberately causing death of a protected species carries a prison term back home, especially if cruelty is involved......


Show me a case where someone went to jail for hurting an animal please. Seals aren't protected. We kill hundreds of thousands every year here in Canada. ;)

Message edited by author 2010-03-08 15:38:09.
03/08/2010 03:40:10 PM · #15
Originally posted by kaiser_chief:

Rob.......such a waste....

Those cuts are way too regular in shape in that photo, and looks way too clean to be an animal attack. The shape is a major key to this, being very oval. I am no expert on your local wildlife, but I suspect that a person is responsible, either after the pups death, or the cause of the pups death. Without being there and seeing the other evidence, I could not guarentee either way.

My suspicion would be that the pelt was removed and then afterwards, some other creature has then scavenged partly.......a guess would be a bird based on this picture not showing any significant additional damage to the carcass.

Furthermore, the area between the sign and the pup will hold many clues as to why the pup has moved from the original position to its current spot. My suspicion (unfounded without evidence) would be that the person responsible has moved it for some reason, possibly to get away from the waterline while working, however the lack of blood around the carcass also does not make sense..........the carcass has been moved after the death and it seems removal of that pelt (whether it was human or animal), unless the pelt was removed some hours after the pups death..............

Again, no expert, just my opinion based on years of living in country areas and seeing many, many dead wildlife from different causes.

I am hoping that the local authorities are able to catch the person involved and prosecute to the full extent of the law.


I'm going to second this, based on no expert knowledge, but I do travel out to the Everglades allot and constantly stumble across different types of carcasses... Plus years in the marine industry, I've seen many shark bites on fish and turtles... Carnivorous animals have teeth that are designed to tear flesh from bone, and in doing so, the cuts are never clean in shape like this... I once saw a dead loggerhead turtle with a bite mark in it roughly 3 feet in width, most likely a very large Great White, and that was probably the cleanest cut I had ever seen... But it bit right through the turtle... Anything powerful enough to do that, would have bitten that seal clean in two... The bones are not broken and are in very good shape... Sure the meat is picked from them as mentioned above, but birds and other small animals can explain that away... IMO, definitely the work of a human, I'm just curious to know what the seal died of, because the seal may have been dead before the human cut it...

03/08/2010 03:41:26 PM · #16
Jac

You forget, Im an Australian, and we do protect our animals quite strictly at times..........

Just quickly googled to prove a point................

//www.environment.gov.au/about/media/dept-mr/mr20091030.html
03/08/2010 03:49:07 PM · #17
( a Japanese ring of Australian lizard smugglers enters into the plot. ) ' . substr('//www.kpriest.com/dpchallenge/sm/popcorn.gif', strrpos('//www.kpriest.com/dpchallenge/sm/popcorn.gif', '/') + 1) . '
03/08/2010 03:58:18 PM · #18
Originally posted by kaiser_chief:

Jac

You forget, Im an Australian, and we do protect our animals quite strictly at times..........



Certainly do! This is one very expensive rat!
03/08/2010 04:01:33 PM · #19
Its been a long while, but I do have a degree in biology (cellular with a minor in wildlife). From what I've seen I doubt this was an animal kill and have even greater doubts it was coyote.

1) No apparent throat damage. Many wild animals go for a quick kill once an animal is down.

2) The position of the wound. I've seen cows, elk, deer, ducks and other animals that have been killed by predators. Most the predators did not go through the rib cage, but rather through the soft underbelly.

3) The "scene" of the crime. Its too orderly. Predators rip and tear at a carcass. You can see the bird tracks, but little to no marks from other animals. Its possible the carrion eaters did a pretty thorough job of cleaning up and obscuring the marks of other animals. But this just seems too orderly.
03/08/2010 04:12:25 PM · #20
Further information: the animal, or its carcass, was dragged up-dune away from the water a considerable distance, a couple hundred feet. Where the killing occurred, there was more blood. There were canine/canid footprints in that area, but my guess is they were dog; a lot of people run their dogs on this beach early in the morning. I thought the footprints were most likely placed after the carcass was moved, but in any event there were signs of the carcass having been "rotated" in a circular manner at that point. And as I said, the pup was alive last night, and there was a sign. There were definitely gulls working at the carcass, they left when I got close.

Let me post some more images, gotta process from RAW.

R.

Message edited by author 2010-03-08 16:13:28.
03/08/2010 04:24:30 PM · #21
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sigh...

R.
03/08/2010 04:39:38 PM · #22
Now I have a new theory on the cause of death: Fatal Irony
03/08/2010 04:44:23 PM · #23
Originally posted by Art Roflmao:

Now I have a new theory on the cause of death: Fatal Irony


That's seriously sick, Art, seriously sick... :-)

R.
03/08/2010 05:01:38 PM · #24
Originally posted by Jac:

Call this sicko, she'll eat it raw.


Excuse me Jac? She was participating in an Inuit custom. Are you calling all Inuit sickos?
03/08/2010 05:22:00 PM · #25
One thing against a person doing it is what is the mode of killing? Usually they'd club them over the head right? I'd guess that would show, but maybe I'm wrong. I suppose it could have been stabbed, but that seems like and odd way to choose to do things.
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