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Quad bike rider left seal for dead: DOC

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 4/07/2016

<p log-id="article-p"></p> © Keith Srakocic/ Associated Press

Authorities are on the hunt for a man who snatched a seal pup from a South Island beach and then left it for dead.

The Department of Conservation says the pup was found stressed and hypothermic after the man drove it at high speeds on a red quad bike along Hokitika Beach on Saturday.

Spokesman Ian McClure says the difficult decision was made to put down the seal as it was unlikely to survive as it was unweaned and its mother was nowhere in sight.

"Most residents in Hokitika love the natural environment and wildlife, and it is disturbing and very sad that someone would do this," he said.

The incident was reported to DOC by tourists who said the man had dark hair, was tall and was in his late teens or early 20s.

The maximum penalty for such an offence is $250,000 and/or two years in jail.

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