Captain Paul Watson, of the Virginia-based Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS), an international non-profit, marine wildlife conservation organisation, said his group’s offer of a €2,000 reward has now been boosted by a private offer of a further €2,000.
The founder director of Greenpeace, who went on to establish the SSCS, said the details of the shocking incident which made headlines here over the weekend, was now a worldwide story.
“All cetaceans are protected under Irish law. The law says that anyone who hurts or hunts, kills, injures or possesses a protected marine wildlife animal is in violation,” he told The Opinion Line on Cork’s 96FM. “It doesn’t matter how these individuals came to be in possession of the dead mammal.
“They shouldn’t have touched it, they shouldn’t have moved it and they certainly shouldn’t have done what they did.”
He said he has asked the Irish authorities, including the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), to investigate the incident and is awaiting a response.
The NPWS, which it is understood was involved in the collection and disposal of the animal’s remains, did not respond to requests for a comment.
ISPCA inspector Lisa O’Donovan condemned those involved in the bizarre incident, which is believed to have occurred in an apartment at the Parchment Square Student accommodation complex on the Model Farm Road, close to CIT.
“It was an absolute disgrace,” she said. “From an animal welfare point of view, there was little we could do but it doesn’t take away from the seriousness of this incident.”
She said the fact that it was captured and disseminated on social media was also of concern to her, and that she has come across similar incidents of animal cruelty which have been recorded in picture or video form and spread on various social media platforms.
CIT management distanced themselves from the student apartment complex and pointed out that it is run by an independent management company.
Management of the complex did not respond to media queries yesterday.
It is believed the two men involved in the incident are not students of CIT.