Fears that seal was shot

Michael TraillAlbany Advertiser
The seal at Cheyne Beach.
Camera IconThe seal at Cheyne Beach.

Parks and Wildlife officers are investigating the death of a threatened Australian sea lion, which was found on Cheyne Beach with a “suspicious” wound.

It is understood a member of the public saw the sea lion injured on Sunday evening, believing it had been shot with a firearm or speargun because of a wound on its back. The seal was found dead yesterday morning.

A City of Albany spokesman said the matter was under invesigation.

“The City has received a report about an injured seal that has died on Cheyne Beach, but at this stage does not know what caused the injuries,” he said. “City of Albany Reserves have contacted the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions and they are investigating.”

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The Department of Primary Industry and Regional Development issued a shark advice after the seal’s carcass was sighted at the mouth of First Creek, north of the Cheynes Beach Caravan Park.

“It is possible the decomposing carcass will act as an attractant that could lead to sharks coming close in to shore along this stretch of coast,” a DPIRD spokesman said.

“While it’s not uncommon for sharks to be present off the WA coast throughout the year, people should exercise additional caution until the seal carcass is removed.”

Parks and Wildlife officers will transport the carcass to Albany for a necropsy to determine the cause of death.

In November, rangers were forced to put down a severely injured seal after it was run over on the beach.

According to Cheynes Beach Caravan Park assistant manager Emma O’Callaghan, the seal had been unwell and resting on the beach for several days beforehand.

Ms O’Callaghan called rangers on November 17 and a ranger confirmed that a vehicle had driven over the seal.

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