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The Ecologist Film Unit (EFU) is a UK-based not-for-profit news organisation dedicated to investigative reporting on environmental issues, with a particular focus on food and farming, wildlife and consumer affairs. We produce original investigative content for broadcast, print and online output, and work with external media outlets and partners to maximise exposure.

Cruelty of Namibian seal hunt exposed

Secret footage obtained by an Ecologist Film Unit reporter in Namibia has revealed – for the first time – the brutal reality of the Namibian seal hunt and followed an unprovoked attack on investigators Jim Wickens and Bart Smithers.

The dramatic film shows seals being killed by hunters during a hunt at the Cape Cross Reserve in Namibia and hunters armed with clubs running towards the investigative team. The journalists, who were working on assignment with Dutch lobby group Bont voor Dieren were violently attacked by seal hunters before being detained by police.

The pair were subsequently held by the Namibian authorities before being freed after agreeing to pay a fine for “entering a protected marine area without a permit.” The incident has been reported around the world and shone a spotlight on the little known Namibian seal hunt.

Namibia’s seals number about 800,000 and more than 90,000 seals will be clubbed to death during this year’s sealing season, which started in early July. The hunt takes place secretly to avoid the glare of publicity – and to avoid upsetting tourists. Namibia is a popular tourist destination, particular for Dutch and German nationals.

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