Photos emerge showing fiddler rays with gaping stab wounds to the head

Latest in long line of animal cruelty cases which have occurred off the coast of Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula in Australia

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The Independent Online

An unknown attacker has been fatally stabbing fiddler rays off the coast of Australia. 

Picture have emerged of five of the creatures with gaping wounds on the top of their heads off the coast of Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula.

Jane Bowman, a diving instructor, had previously reported that she spotted 18 fiddler rays with similar injuries. 

One of the rays, which are also known as banjo sharks, was apparently still alive and divers filmed the animal struggling on the seabed. 

As the attacks are not believed to be isolated incidents, Project Banjo Action Group have decided to collect evidence to take action. 

“This goes beyond the illegal slaughter of unwanted catch,” Project Banjo Coordinator PT Hirschfield told the Daily Mail. “Often it's a matter of animal cruelty, increasingly we're finding rays that are thrown back in the water, cut in half, mutilated and maimed but still alive. 

She added: “They're being thrown back like rubbish."

Throwing dead rays back into the sea is illegal and offenders could receive fines of hundreds or thousands of dollars if the case reaches court.