This shocking footage shows the blood-stained surviving seal pups that were among 100 stolen from a sanctuary so crooks could use their penises in a Chinese medical cure for impotence.
Local police found 100 spotted seals (Phoca largha) kept in cramped, filthy conditions in the major seaport of Dalian in the north-eastern Chinese province of Liaoning, bordering with North Korea.
Video Credit: AsiaWire
According to reports, 29 of the pups were already dead, while nine others died shortly after being rescued.
Director of the National Spotted Seal National Nature Reserve, Tian Jiguang, said that there are about 2,000 spotted seals in Chinese waters and only around 100 pups are born every year.
Local resident Mr. Wen said that “stealing seals is very common in Changxing Island” (just off the coast of Dalian) and claimed that there are “many ads about seals for sale” pasted around the area.
The local authorities are offering a reward of 50,000 RMB (5,680 GBP) for information leading to the arrest the culprits behind the theft.
According to local media, the seal pups were most profitable when sold for their penises, which are used in sexual enhancement products.
But the females are also sold as there are around 400 zoos and aquariums in China where seals are highly sought after because they are easily trained to take part in performances.
A PETA Asia spokesperson told Asia Wire: “This is yet another reason not to go to aquariums or buy mysterious products made from seals. Seals are probably the most abused animals in aquariums.
“They are often confined in tiny tanks with shallow water as a photo props for visitors, and in many cases they are forced to play tricks to entertain visitors.”
According to reports, the 62 rescued cubs are currently being cared for at an animal park and will be released back into the sea in May.
The investigation continues.