A collection of European scientists have discovered that Grey Seals are the culprits behind the puzzling rash of bizarre porpoise mutilations, that have been occurring near the northern coast of central Europe.
Grey seals are responsible for mutilating and killing dozens of porpoises every year and European scientists conclude that humans may be next on their menu.
Over the last several years, the European scientific community had been left baffled in the wake of the porpoise mutilations that were plaguing the sea mammal’s population, along the Dutch coast line. Researchers from the Faculty of Veterinarian Medicine of the University of Utrecht, the Institute for Marine Resources and Ecosystem Studies in Wageningen UR and the NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, theorized that grey seals were the perpetrators of these seemingly horrendous attacks, but lacked the conclusive evidence to support their allegations.
Similar attacks had been documented in the U.K, France and Belgium and were dated to have occurred as far back as 2012. It is theorized that more attacks may have occurred prior to 2012, but at the time they were not recorded and correlated with grey seals.
In 2013, the collection of scientists began to autopsy the remains and collect DNA samples from the wounds of over 1,000 porpoises who were victims of the mysterious attacks. They then used the samples to determine what or who the killers of the animals were. Not only did the scientists discover that 25 percent of the attacks on the porpoises occur on the same side of the body, but the teams had also found conclusive evidence that identifies the grey seals as the attackers.
Its theorized that the gray seals are targeting the porpoise population, due to the dwindling number of their own food sources. The grey seals would normally sustain themselves on fish, but as the seal community expands the fish population contracts, forcing them to seek out other means sustenance.
Currently, the seals have been only been targeting porpoises, but scientists believe that once the numbers of porpoises begins to decline the seals could begin to lash out and perhaps, attempt to consume humans. It is speculated that the seals may begin to target people due to humans sharing similar physical attributes, i.e people and porpoises are both long creatures and people have arms where as porpoises have flippers.
As of yet, no reports have been made of a grey seal attacking a person. Scientists are currently attempting raise awareness in regard to the recently discovered dangers associated with the cuddly animals.