A "DISTURBING" trend has emerged in County Kerry as a number of dead and beheaded seals have been found on the beach in recent days.
Local woman Niamh Stephenson spoke to Jerry O'Sullivan on Kerry Today this morning where she said she had found multiple carcasses on Banna Beach, County Kerry over the past two weeks.
She had initially assumed the discoveries were the result of a particularly gruesome animal attack, but after coming across more and more, she began to suspect that this was not the case.
Nor did it seem like an animal had taken the heads off to consume after the seals were already dead, as Ms Stephenson told Kerry Today "they seem to be too cleanly taken off".
Admitting she is "concerned", Ms Stephenson said the fact that she had come across so many of the protected species in that condition in just her own personal walks on the beach made her thinking, "This isn't right. This shouldn't be happening."
"It is certainly not what ... people who are enjoying the beach want to see when they visit Banna at the weekend," she said, reiterating again the sheer amount of carcasses she has found on the strand.
She mentioned that she had met another person who had seen headless seal corpses on the beach in Ballybunion, and it made her worry that this was happening elsewhere in the county.
Ms Stephenson referenced the recent scandal in which it appeared the Government would consider allowing fishermen in Kerry to cull seals who were eating their fish stock, and noted that a number of cull licenses had been made by fishermen in the area.
However, she stressed that she is just trying to find a reason and does not know the answers-- however it has "flagged to me there is something else going on here".
You can listen to the full interview on Radio Kerry here.