Urgent: Cape fur seals are under attack and need your help!

Urgent: Cape fur seals are under attack and need your help!

In South Africa and Namibia, the Cape fur seals are becoming increasingly vulnerable. These defenseless creatures are facing threats from commercial fishing, and climate change. Now, most horrifically of all, they are being brutally killed in their natural habitats by humans.

Urgent: Cape fur seals are under attack and need your help!Credit: Isabelle Charrier

A few weeks ago, the carcasses of six Cape fur seals washed ashore at a popular beach in Cape Town with stab wounds piercing their hearts, lungs, or other major organs.

A forensic team confirmed that two of the seals were pregnant. They also found that the wounds were made by the same weapon and wielded by the same person. Sea Search is now working with law enforcement to find and prosecute the culprit who committed these cruel and baseless killings.

Urgent: Cape fur seals are under attack and need your help!Credit: City Of Cape Town

These stabbings are the latest in a long line of seal-related wildlife crime incidents…

In July, Sea Search alerted the authorities to a man callously skinning a Cape fur seal on the beach. Following the arrest, the suspect confirmed that there is a thriving black market for seal meat in Cape Town’s impoverished slums. He is currently in jail awaiting sentencing.

Urgent: Cape fur seals are under attack and need your help!Graphic content of a skinned seal ashore on a Cape Town beach.
Credit: Sea Search

Similarly, in January, four people were arrested for stoning a seal after being offered money by a traditional healer to kill the animal. Heart-wrenching images showed the seal with a large gash on its head, a crushed eye, and blood pouring from its mouth after most of its teeth had broken off in the attack. The seal was rushed for emergency veterinary care but tragically had to be humanely euthanized due to the severity of its injuries.

Wild populations of Cape fur seals face massive threats from local fishermen, commercial fishing, and climate change, which affect their food sources diminishing, their habitats destroyed, and their lives lost.

We must protect them and help them survive, and here is why.

As integral components of marine biodiversity, Cape fur seals contribute to ecosystem stability by participating in the food chain both as predators and prey. Their health reflects the overall state of the marine ecosystems they inhabit, making them crucial indicators for scientists studying environmental health.

Urgent: Cape fur seals are under attack and need your help!Credit: M.Laubscher

From an ethical perspective, we as humans have a responsibility to help protect all creatures from undue harm caused directly or indirectly by our actions, such as climate change or entanglement in fishing nets.

Seals also offer invaluable scientific research opportunities, providing insights into climate change and marine health. By maintaining the balance of nature, they ensure a healthy ecosystem that benefits wildlife and human activities alike. Therefore, safeguarding Cape fur seals is about preserving not just the species itself, but the broader marine ecosystem that supports a multitude of life, including our own.

Our ongoing conservation efforts are vital for the survival of this intriguing species and we can and must protect them. We do have the power to help, but need your generosity today.

One problem we can begin to address immediately is the threat posed by certain local fishermen.

Urgent: Cape fur seals are under attack and need your help!Credit: Dr.Tess Gridley

Driven by human greed, seals are cold-bloodedly slaughtered by some ignorant fishermen and unfeeling individuals to ‘reduce competition’ when catching fish, and by criminals who strip them of their pelts and other body parts for fake traditional medicine, peddling the potions as: “good for skin conditions.” There is no scientific evidence of any truth in this but seals are dying so criminals can make money.

It is a HORRIFIC situation, but we have a plan to help.

Together with our partner, Sea Search – an environmental conservation organization that works with local authorities and decision-makers to reduce cases of wildlife crime and human-seal conflict – we are working to help protect Cape fur seals from the daily onslaught they face.

But Sea Search relies heavily on external funding from good-hearted people like you. Will you help raise the funds we need?

Urgent: Cape fur seals are under attack and need your help!Credit: RoamingRyan

If we can mobilize and raise $10,000 (approximately £7800), we will be able to finance vital conservation initiatives, support investigations into the tragic deaths of seals, and help ensure that those responsible for these savage crimes against seals face the full force of justice.

It will not be easy, but with your help, we can make a difference for seals in need and help to prevent further unnecessary deaths. Please, if you possibly can, donate generously to Animal Survival International today.

Saving animals and the planet,


Caught in a snare, ‘Najam’ the lioness suffered horribly for FOUR DAYS. We can save wild animals from snares. <u><strong>Please, will you help us</u>?</strong>

Campaign Director
Animal Survival International

P.S. Seal slaughter in South Africa is a distressing reminder of humans’ terrible impact on wildlife and that we must continue our fight to protect and preserve precious species. Cape fur seals are the only seal species endemic to southern African coastlines and perform an essential role in the food chains of marine ecosystems. Please donate today to help reduce human-wildlife conflict, catch criminals who evade the law, and save countless seal lives.

Banner Credit: David Vaynor Evans

Urgent: Cape fur seals are under attack and need your help!

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