On Monday, we reported on a sea lion found dead just south of Lowman Beach Park. Today, Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network sends word that a necropsy has confirmed it was shot to death – and they have an “urgent request”:
Yesterday we examined the dead California sea lion discovered on Monday at Lowman Beach. A necropsy was done by a team from the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife Marine Mammal Investigations and SR3, assisted by Seal Sitters. Examiners recovered a bullet, confirming the suspicion that the otherwise healthy animal had been shot. This case will be turned over to NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement and is the fifth confirmed gunshot sea lion in Puget Sound and Hood Canal since August.
Seal Sitters requests your help in stopping the violence against sea lions and seals. If you hear gunfire coming from the water, please call 911 immediately. If you witness harassment of marine mammals, please call Seal Sitters at 206-905-SEAL (206-905-7325). You can also report incidents to NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement at 800-853-1964.
Many thanks to the property owners who gave us permission to secure the carcass until it could be examined. After the necropsy, the carcass was towed and sunk under permit from the EPA.
This is the second Thanksgiving Day in a row with a report like this – last night we were just checking the archive for last year and noted this report about 13 sea-lion deaths linked to “acute trauma from human interaction.”