The discovery of a series of decapitated seals left on Brittany’s beaches has shocked France and prompted a police manhunt for their killers.
“People are horrified,” Julien, a resident of Concarneau in Finistère, told the Telegraph. “Whoever is killing seals and cutting off their heads has got to be truly sick.”
Gautier Paris, the detective heading the investigation, said: “We were first alerted to the killings by the Concarneau harbourmaster who told us a seal’s head had been found hanging from a cord at the end of the seawall, almost like a trophy.”
A month later, a headless seal was found on a nearby beach “in an advanced state of decomposition”. A week later, another headless corpse was discovered on a beach in nearby Trégunc.
“It had been dead for two or three days,” Mr Paris said. “This time we never found the head. It had been severed with a sharp tool, probably a fishing knife.” Police suspect that “a person or persons working on a boat, perhaps a fishing vessel,” may be responsible for the killings. CCTV footage “just showed boats passing by,” according to Mr Paris, and the police have now appealed for witnesses.
“Everyone here is shocked,” Mr Paris said. “We’ve received a lot of messages of support and some leads which we’re examining now. This type of thing has never happened before in our area.”