Reward paid for seal clubbing info
Environmental group Sea Shepherd says it has paid an $11,500 reward to an anonymous person who provided information on the clubbing to death of 23 fur seals in Kaikoura in 2010.
Blenheim man Jemaal Large, 38, was convicted this year of ill-treating the animals and sentenced to eight months' home detention.
He killed them at the Ohau Pt colony, a breeding ground for seals and a popular tourist attraction on the Kaikoura coast, on the night of November 26, 2010.
Large, and co-offender Jason Godsiff, 22, used a galvanised steel pipe to bludgeon 13 female breeders, 2 bulls, and eight seal pups. Godsiff also received eight months' home detention.
Sea Shepherd said in a statement it had offered the reward over the "acts of unthinkable violence". It hailed the "brave individual" who provided the information.
This is the first time a reward has been paid out under Sea Shepherd USA's rewards programme, which was established to help bring those who harmed marine wildlife to justice.
"Sea Shepherd is encouraged to see that members of the public are willing to take action against acts of violence toward marine wildlife, and that this cruel act was not committed without penalty from the justice system of New Zealand," the organisation said.
"It is not easy to put oneself at risk by stepping forward with such vital information, but we encourage anyone who has information about cruel killers of ocean animals to please not hesitate to offer any information that could help prosecute these individuals to the full extent of the law.
"We humans are the only voices that these animals have in court."