Who shot Sedna, the female killer whale found lifeless in the Seine on May 30? To shed light on this tragic event, Sea Shepherd, the ocean protection NGO, is bringing out the heavy artillery. She announces that she will offer 10,000 to anyone who will allow her to get her hands on the person who committed this evil act.
A bullet in the skull base
In mid-May, the presence of an orca in the Seine made headlines. But it was with sadness that France discovered the death of the cetacean two weeks later, which were still trapped in the river despite several rescue efforts to try to divert it to the ocean, its natural habitat. A necropsy performed on the mammal’s body then revealed the presence of a bullet from a firearm at the base of its skull.
On Sunday, July 17, Sea Shepherd launched a wanted message in the columns of the Parisian to find the shooter. The ocean conservation NGO announced it would offer a $10,000 reward for any serious information that could identify and prosecute this person.
“The body was found floating in the Seine on Sunday, May 30. Although we had never seen an orca in the river before, we didn’t think she would die so quickly, but the autopsy made it possible to find human ammunition in her flesh.”mentions the association in the columns of the newspaper.
A widespread practice at sea
On Facebook, the NGO reminds that photographing these protected species is an offense punishable by 3 years in prison and a fine of 150,000 euros. According to her, the attack took place at sea. “The practice is unknown, but often killer whales, dolphins and seals are shot because of competition for fishing,” explains Lamya Essemlali, president of the NGO, to our colleague from Huffington Post.
“At sea, overfishing and the scarcity of fish due to overconsumption are increasing tensions between marine predators (whales, dolphins, orcas, sharks, etc.) and fishermen”the NGO said in a press release on its Facebook page.
“In fact, the sea is the perfect place for perfect crimes, no surveillance, no witnesses, no consequences.” regrets the organization. “To curb this climate of impunity and lift the omerta on this practice, Sea Shepherd is offering a $10,000 reward.”
“If this amount can motivate a key witness to speak out and bring the investigation to a successful conclusion, and if Sedna’s tragic story can make the public aware of the damage caused by overfishing and overconsumption of fish, then his ordeal can have not been in vain.”
Lamya Essemlali, President of Sea Shepherd France
A deadly bullet?
If the autopsy made it possible to detect the presence of a bullet in the animal’s flesh, it also turned out that this was not a priori the direct cause of death. “All we know is that the bullet didn’t cause death, that it was fired from afar because it didn’t hit the bones, because the tissues no longer bore a trace. The rest is just speculation.”explains Sophie Poncet, from the French Bureau of Biodiversity in Parisian.
According to the Seine-Maritime Prefecture, “the first results lead to the hypothesis that the animal died from lack of appetite, that is, from a state of weakness caused by the fact that the animal had stopped eating”.
New analyzes should take place in the coming months to shed light on the reasons for his death. After that, the skeleton of Sedna will be included in the collection of the National Museum of Natural History.