Kostas the monk seal has been killed

The Mediterranean monk seal Kostas was found in the Mediterranean after a severe storm and nursed back to health in a rescue centre. After being set free, Kostas continued to seek human company – and this proved to be his undoing.

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The spear pierced Kosta's body completely - a brutal crime! Locals found the dead seal on a boat trip close to the island floating in the water.

© E. Tounta/MOm

On 24th July, Kostas, the much-loved monk seal, was found dead near the Greek island of Alonnisos. A 1.3 metre harpoon had pierced through his body. Evidence strongly suggests that he was killed deliberately and that his death was planned. On investigating, the police established that the hooks of the harpoon had been removed. This would have increased the penetration of the harpoon, a type normally used for catching fish.

Kostas was the mascot of the island of Alonnisos, part of the archipelago of the Northern Sporades. After he had been nursed back to health as a young animal in the wildlife rehabilitation centre of our Greek partner organisation, MOm, and prepared for his return to freedom, he remained trusting towards towards people. One of his favourite resting places was the sundecks of boats. As a result, there was huge outrage at this despicable act. A federation of several organisations has put up a reward of 18,000 Euros for anyone who can provide the authorities with information and proof regarding the killing of Kostas.

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