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More than 70 dying seal pups have been rescued from a farm in China after being caught by suspected animal traffickers to sell to aquariums.
The baby spotted seals, all less than two weeks old, were found starving and wailing on a poultry farm in the city of Dalian by police earlier this month.
Police - Suspects - Total - Pups - Shock
Police claim the suspects had hunted a total of 100 pups in the wild. Among them, 29 had died 'from shock' before the police arrived and nine more died after being rescued due to weak health, according to Xinhua News Agency.
Dalian police have launched a manhunt for four suspects with cash rewards.
Seals - Waters - North - Pacific - Ocean
Spotted seals live in the waters of the North Pacific Ocean and can be found along the north-eastern cost of China, particularly on the Liaodong Peninsula near the Yellow Sea. The species gets its name from its coat pattern.
They are a second-class protected animal species in the country - along with heavily trafficked pangolins and Asian black bears. Hunting, farming or trading of spotted seals without permission is prohibited by China's Wildlife Protection Law.
Police - Pups - Village - Hutou - Wafangdian
Dalian police found the pups in the village of Hutou in Wafangdian on February 11. They made the discovery after receiving information from the locals.
Footage released by the police through the press office of the Dalian government on social media shows the tiny marine mammals, still sporting their fur, cramped into a small geese farm and crying for attention.
Officers - Pups - Pups - Building - Day
Officers found 71 live pups and nine dead pups in the building. On the next day, they found 20 more corpses buried under concrete nearby.
All of the pups were starving and their health was extremely weak, according to a local official.
Shi - Xiaoming - Deputy - Director - Dalian
Shi Xiaoming, the deputy director of Dalian Spotted Seal National Nature Reserve, told China Central Television...
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