Greek vets in Samos have confirmed that the seal found dead on 24 May on the coast of Marathokambos was the human-friendly mascot of the island, “Argyro”.
Anastasia Miliou, Director of Research at the ‘Archipelagos’ Institute for Marine Protection, said that the dead seal has been identified as Argyro.
“She was killed violently by a shotgun and sharp object. She was one of the many seals that are orphaned, her mother was also killed on the island of Samos.”
The Mediterranean monk seal first came to attention when posing for tourists off the shores of Samos in the eastern Aegean. Since then, the 150-kg animal has been treated like a pet by most and has gained something of a cult following on the island.
The Port Authority in Samos is investigating the murder of Argyro and is trying to identify the perpetrators.
Argyro was one of the very rare monk seals, whose population does not exceed 450 people worldwide and are threatened with extinction.