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Endangered Monk Seal Killed in Greek Island Protected Zone

July 26, 2021

ALONISSOS, Greece – Greek officials are trying to find whomever killed a young endangered monk sea who was the mascot of the island of Alonissos where it lived in an allegedly protected marine area.

Kostis, who was named after the fisherman who saved him as Cyclone Zorbas hit the Aegean Sea in 2018, was "deliberately killed" off the coast, the MOm NGO for the protection of the Mediterranean monk seal told France 24.

The killing was said to have set off an uproar on the island as the seal was a favorite of residents and others there.

The island is part of the Alonissos and Northern Sporades marine park, Greece's first such park where sea life is protected by law, the largest such designed safe area in Europe, the park's website claimed.

"The innocent and unaware seal was executed at close range with a spear gun that had a large spear for exactly that purpose," MOm said in a Facebook post.

The group said the Mediterranean monk seals are endangered, and almost half of the remaining population lives in Greece.

The group had nurtured Kostis after his rescue, moving him to a first aid centre before returning him to his natural environment in the Aegean Sea where he was often seen lying on boats in the port, posing for photos.

"We don't deserve this planet. We spoil all beauty," one Facebook user said, the report said, adding that Greece's state-run Athens-Macedonia News Agency (ANMA) said authorities are now hunting for the killer.

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