Sea Shepherd New Zealand have confirmed $5000 was paid out for information that led to the capture of the Leopard seal killers in late July this year in Northland.
“The reward money was paid out to an individual that provided crucial information regarding the killing. This information was passed directly onto New Zealand Police in the very early days of the investigation," Sea Shepherd New Zealand Managing Director Michael Lawry says.
The senseless killing of the rare and protected Leopard seal near Glinks Gully Beach, just outside of Dargaville in Northland angered the local community and many around the country.
It is believed a shotgun was used at virtually point-blank range which literally blew the seal's skull apart.
Seals are protected under the Wildlife Act and causing them harm can result in two years in prison or a quarter of a million dollar fine.
Four teenage males, two aged 16 and two aged 15, were referred to Youth Aid over the incident. Due to the age of the offenders no more information can be provided about the minors.
“It’s tragic the teenagers had such little respect for the precious wildlife we are so lucky to have come and visit our shores. Aotearoa is a hotspot for many marine species and any creature coming here is protected by law from disturbance. We can only hope some people get the message that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated," said Mr Lawry.