A wildlife organization revealed on Friday that a rare Mediterranean Monk seal has been shot and killed in the area of Milina in the Pagasitikos Gulf in central Greece.
The Hellenic Society for the Study and Protection of the Monk seal (MOm) published graphic photos of the dead mammal on its Facebook page to alert the public to the plight of the species.
MOm says that a young and apparently healthy Mediterranean monk seal had recently been found shot and killed.
“There are still unconscionable people out there who kill seals. Such practices, in addition to being illegal, are also morally reprehensible,” the organization stated.
The largest population of the critically-endangered Mediterranean Monk Seal lives in the waters off Greece and is estimated to number only about 300 individuals.
Monk seals, who are widely distributed throughout the entire coastline of the country, show a strong preference for isolated and inaccessible islands and islets or similarly secluded parts of the coastline on the mainland.
The largest and most closely-monitored populations of the endangered seals are those around the Northern Sporades Islands and in the Kimolos – Polyaigos archipelago.
The seal population in the Northern Sporades Islands (which includes the National Marine Park of Alonissos, Northern Sporades) has been closely monitored by MOm since 1988 and is believed to number more than 50 individuals.
Another 50 individual Monk seals are also believed to live in the waters of the Kimolos – Polyaigos archipelago in the southwestern Cyclades Islands.