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Harp Seals on Ice Pack in Gulf of St. Lawrence

These Harp Seals were photographed in February, 2012, in the Gulf of St. Lawrence near the Magdalen Islands of Canada. The Canadian government issued a kill quota of 400,000 for 2012, for the purposes of salvaging the baby pelts and harvesting them for meat. A club is used repeatedly on their skulls to kill them, so as to avoid damaging their pelts. The hunt is quite controversial and many nations, including the USA, ban the import or killing of these sea mammals.