The brutal nature in which six young seal pups were decapitated has left environmentalists stunned.
The 11-month-old headless pups were reported to the Department of Conservation by tourism operators, who found them floating in a popular tourist spot, Scenery Nook, on Monday.
Mahaanui Operations Manager Andy Thompson told Larry Williams in past incidents, recreational or commercial fishers have got upset with seals because of low fish stocks.
"But our research shows us very clearly that seals do consume quite different fish from what fishers target, so there's no need to be fearful of that. It's quite a senseless act in that regard."
He says that they have sent away three of the bodies to Massey University to confirm the cause of death.
Thompson says its unlikely anything in nature would have killed the seals in such a way.
He says they want to hear from anyone who's seen anything unusual in the Southern Bays over the past few days.
"Obviously, we're all concerned that if someone's capable of doing this to seal, what else are they capable of, so it is a bit upsetting."
The incident has been reported to the police, who say they are offering any assistance necessary.
LISTEN TO ANDY THOMPSON TALK WITH LARRY WILLIAMS ABOVE