Northland Police have confirmed in a Facebook post that they have identified the alleged killers who were involved in the shooting of a Leopard Seal on a Dargaville beach in Northland last month.
The seal was found by local Shane Searle who says he had seen the animal a day before it was shot and returned the next day to check on it.
Two 16-year-old males and two 15-year-old males have been referred to Youth Aid in relation to the incident.
Northland Police say the incident caused an upset in the community and commends the assistance they received during the investigation.
As a result, Police say those involved will be held accountable for their actions.
They hope this will give the public some degree of reassurance and serves as notice that the Police will not tolerate the cruel and reckless behaviour.
Environment group Sea Shepherd was offering $5000 for information leading to the prosecution of the killer or killers.
Seals are protected pursuant to the Marine Mammals Protection Act and causing them harm can result in two years in prison or a fine up to $250,000.