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Cape Cross

About 60 kilometers north of Henties Bay lies "Cape Cross" on a promontory. In January 1486 the portuguese Seafarer and discoverer Diego Cão – he was looking for for a sea route to India – set foot on this coast as the first European. He erected one of the stone crosses, called "Padrãos", he brought along on the ship to mark Portugal's claim on discovered lands.

When the cross was discovered in 1893 by a survey ship of the German imperial marine, Emperor Wilhelm II had it transported to Berlin, where it was exhibited in the museum for sealife. Two years later a new cross was erected at Cape Cross. In 1986 the Namibian government put up a second cross in exactly the same position where the original had been.

Many tourists come to Cape Cross especially for the huge seal colony nearby. At times more than 100.000 Cape Fur Seals (arctocephalus pusillus pusillus) gather here. Although the colony has been proclaimed a nature reserve by the Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism and despite the protests of animal protection advocates, thousands of these animals are being brutally battered to death every year. Fur and meat are sold locally and the bulls' testicles achieve good prices with customers from Asia where they are believed to be a strong potency remedy.
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The Namibian government permits the seal killing because they perceive a too large seal population as a threat to the fish stock. At other coastal stretches of Namibia, in the Luederitz area for example, the seals are killed in the same manner.

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