Kostis, a Mediterranean monk seal, used to be a prankish creature, beloved by residents of and location visitors to the Greek island of Alonissos. He would possibly be seen from the island’s shores, inserting poses for the cameras or sunning himself on boats in the port.
But over the weekend, the friendly seal used to be found “deliberately killed” at “shut vary” by a spear gun, in step with the Athens-based mostly completely mostly organization MOm/the Hellenic Society for the Watch and Protection of the Monk Seal, which targets to stare and shield monk seals. The news sparked ire throughout the island and precipitated Greek authorities to open an investigation into Kostis’s killing.
“Unfortunately, all yet again, it’s confirmed that human wickedness and stupidity haven’t any limits!” be taught a statement a statement from MOm. The organization offered a reward of more than $21,000 to anyone who reports information or proof to the authorities investigating the seal’s loss of life.
Alonissos is section of the National Marine Park of Alonissos and Northern Sporades, a truly unparalleled marine protected space in Europe, the set aside the Mediterranean monk seal is guarded beneath Greek legislation.
Named after the fisherman who rescued him as a pup from Cyclone Zorbas in 2018, Kostis used to be one of no more than 700 of his type left on the earth, in step with the Marine Mammal Commission. MOm rehabilitated and cared for the younger seal for 5 months after his rescue forward of releasing him lend a hand into the Aegean Sea.
His loss of life is section of a higher fashion: In fewer than two years, 19 Mediterranean monk seals had been found tiresome in the Greek seas, in step with Anastasia Miliou, scientific director at the Archipelagos Institute of Marine Conservation and Greek ambassador to the European Union for sustainable maritime policy issues.
Miliou acknowledged that while Kostis lived in a protected region, “there would possibly be quite uncomfortable enforcement of these protection measures.”
“It’s broadly known that there would possibly be tolerance for spear gun fishing, along with many other prohibited activities, on this region,” she acknowledged, which “creates a long-established environment of push aside and disrespect for the legal guidelines in net site online.”
His past rehabilitation by folks and subsequent notoriety because the “mascot” of the island would possibly even contain set aside him at higher threat because he used to be so pleased around of us, Miliou acknowledged.
“If the rehabilitation and reintroduction process had followed a particular method, this seal procure no longer need been uncovered to as many folks and boats and shut interactions as Kostis used to be.”
On Fb, dozens of of us mourned his loss of life and demanded accountability.
“How unhappy I am … Only sadness,” wrote one consumer.
“Give the cruelest punishment to those that did the act so that we can sooner or later be taught to appreciate the payment of existence,” wrote yet every other.
“The more I stare this creature, my madden grows,” yet every other comment acknowledged.
MOm acknowledged its members had been grieving the news, as had been the residents and tourists of the island “who had the luck to love ‘Kostis’ from close by.”