(Photo by Will, added 8:26 pm, taken at a Beach Drive necropsy scene today)
We’ve received a few notes this week about dead sea lions on local beaches. That’s not always newsworthy – usually we advise people to check the resources on the West Seattle-based Seal Sitters‘ website, regarding who to call with news of seals, dead OR alive – but it seems there’ve been more than usual this week. Robert sent us a Facebook note early this morning after happening onto the scene south of Alki Point where one had been found; he said that Parks employees at the scene told him there was another one further down the western West Seattle shore. Though Seal Sitters’ primary focus is watching over live seals, they are often “in the know” about other happenings with marine mammals, so we checked with them, and Robin Lindsey confirmed, “We had two dead male sea lions on the beach here. Also, one decomposed harbor seal that Parks buried this morning. And lastly (hopefully) a beautiful dead adult harbor seal at another small park.” She said state biologists were planning to do necropsies at the scene this afternoon, then tow the bodies out. We spoke with her a short time ago and she had not yet gotten word on official cause of the sea lions’ deaths; we have also left messages for National Marine Fisheries Service‘s media liaison. Lindsey said, “We usually have a lot of deaths this time of year, but four dead pinnipeds in West Seattle in one day is (unusual).” ADDED 8:28 PM: Added a photo that Will – who had e-mailed us about a dead sea lion earlier in the week – took today at a necropsy scene on the beach. He says those who were participating found a bullet – that’s something we plan to ask authorities about, since another person who e-mailed us said they’d heard talk of sea-lion shootings elsewhere in the Sound.
West Seattle, Washington