Police probe after dead baby seal found backstage at Arran music festival

A poster for the Deoch An Dorus music festival on Arran. Picture: Facebook
A poster for the Deoch An Dorus music festival on Arran. Picture: Facebook
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The death of a baby seal has sparked controversy at an island music festival.

An alleged incident involving the mammal and a band member from the group Azure Halo took place at the Deoch an Dorus festival near the village of Sannox on Arran on Saturday.

Festival organisers issued a statement in which they claimed the seal had been found, already dead, by a dog and dragged into the backstage area on Saturday night.

A band member has denied claims that have surfaced on social media that the group was involved in killing the seal and tossing its corpse around.

In a statement he said: “I’d like to start by apologising for my laughter at the ‘Seal Incident’ on Saturday at Deoch an Dorus. I had just returned from the bar to find all our equipment strewn across the grass outside the backstage tent and a man covering a pool of blood with sand and stones.

“I quickly gathered my belongings and rushed on stage to tune up and soundcheck; we were rushing to play our set so we could catch the 6pm bus for the last ferry home. The next thing I know I’m being accused of killing a seal. I shouldn’t have laughed but I hadn’t realised what was going on, or grasped the gravity of the situation. It just seemed like such an outrageous accusation – humour was all I had.

“It seems many are convinced we killed a seal with a brick, while others think we dumped an already dead seal in the backstage tent. By the stench left by the seal I would guess it had been dead longer than the two hours we had been on site and as for how the seal got there I would love to know.”

Event organiser Rory Gordon confirmed on Tuesday night that he had given a statement to police, but denied being aware of any seal killing.

Mr Gordon, who lives on the island, said: “I had seen a dead seat on the beach in the days leading up to the weekend. I have no idea who moved it to the concert area, it might even have been a dog.

“If a sea was killed, then it is a very serious matter, but I am sure that wasn’t the case.”

A spokeswoman for Police Scotland said: “We received a complaint and inquires are continuing.

“The information we’ve had is that the seal was dead already.”