- CNTV English - CCTV News

Scores of dead seals with horrific 'corkscrew' injuries found in Britain

08-18-2010 15:20 BJT

For animal lovers, the sight is as heartbreaking as it is mysterious.

Spared, so far ... a colony of grey seals on one of the Farne Islands off Northumberland
Spared, so far ... a colony of grey seals on one of the Farne Islands off 

Scores of dead seals have been washed up on shore with terrible ‘corkscrew’ injuries, as if they have passed through a giant pencil sharpener.

Such is the concern that police, scientists, the RSPCA and National Trust are all investigating the disturbing phenomenon.

The bodies of more than 50 common and grey seals have been found on the Norfolk coast since November.

Thirteen have so far been the subject of post mortem examinations, but most were so badly mutilated that they were of no help to those seeking answers to the mystery.

In the Firth of Tay, seven were found dead in June out of a breeding population of only 150.

Eighteen further deaths have been reported in St Andrews Bay and the Firth of Forth in the past two months.

The injuries are not consistent with any known phenomenon, such as those caused by fishing nets or boat propellers, although researchers believe they are mechanically produced by a rotating single blade.

While seals have learned to be wary of approaching boats and tend to swim away from them, researchers believe it is possible the animals are being sucked into the propeller blade of an as yet unidentified vessel.

But the investigation has failed to find any kind of offshore machinery capable of producing such wounds.

Populations of common seals have been devastated in recent years.

Once the cause of the mysterious injuries is established, scientists hope to work with ship designers to find ways of limiting the damage caused.

Hot Videos view more

The celebrations are still continuing as the victorious coach, Joachim Loew, has been honored for his achievement in his hometown of Freiburg.
Germany coach Loew honored in hometown of Freiburg

Chinese men´s national team continued its preparations for next year´s Asian Cup, as they managed a one-all draw against visitors Jordan during a football friendly in Harbin, the capital city of Northeast China´s Heilongjiang Province.
China held to 1-1 draw by Jordan

The defending world champs came into the contest with a perfect 6-and-oh record, but they would be in for a tough first half before opening things up in the second.
USA beat Slovenia 119-76 in quarter-finals

Hot Stories more

UK authorities believe killer of James Foley is a British national

Across the UK the hunt is on for James Foley’s killer, who authorities believe is a British national. As Richard Bestic reports from London, Prime Minister David Cameron cut short his summer break to lead his government’s response.

Israeli war jets renews Gaza strike as truce talks stalled

Three Palestinians were killed and 40 others wounded in the intensive Israeli war jets´ airstrikes on the Gaza city on Tuesday night, shortly before an end of a 24-hour ceasefire in the Gaza Strip,

Missouri police arrest dozens after violent night

As the protests in the town of Ferguson, Missouri turned violent with police facing ´heavy gunfire´ from some ´criminal elements´, cops fired tear gas, stun grenades and arrested 31 demonstrators on Monday night.

Picture in news more

More Video News

Choose TV Program