In the footage, the seal pup is seen trapped in a compartment on the boat's deck and gets beaten and stabbed when it tries to escape. One of the men also forces the pup to drink what appears to be beer. The Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism and the SPCA have condemned the footage, describing it as barbaric. According to Times Live, the footage emerged online on Monday after several phone calls and e-mails were sent to the SPCA. A probe has been launched by the organisation in response.
"Not knowing where the area was that it took place, we launched the probe. As the day went on, we established that it occurred in the Saldanha Bay area," Cape of Good Hope SPCA Inspector Alwyn Marais said. "I have been an inspector for eight years and have seen some very horrific incidents involving animals. This is right up there as one of the worst incidents I have seen. It is clear that these guys were out at sea, thought they were untouchable and no one could see them - so they could do what they want."
HeraldLive claims that investigators received reports that the men seen in the footage were threatening people who discovered their identities. One of the suspects is believed to be a resident of Vredenburg, a small town near Saldanha Bay in the Western Cape.