Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network would like to thank those of you who have been contacting our Hotline and reporting on the most recent dead California sea lion to wash ashore in West Seattle. Our volunteers have been keeping track of its location since it was first reported much farther south on private property along Beach Drive on Christmas Day. After a brief stop at the Emma Schmitz Overlook, the carcass is now on the beach at Constellation Park. Seal Sitters has posted an informational sign at the site.
Removal is not a simple process. Seal Sitters has been coordinating with Seattle Parks, SR3 and NOAA on the best way to deal with the situation. Burial on site is not an option, and towing offshore and sinking requires a permit from the Environmental Protection Agency. We have the beginnings of a plan in place which would include an examination and the taking of samples by Casey Mclean of SR3. Seattle Parks & Recreation will be handling the final disposal.
Reports that the animal has been shot are not confirmed at this time. Until a limited necropsy has been performed, there is no sure way of determining cause of death, much less if it was due to shooting. That said, any time a robust sea lion shows up dead, there is suspicion the animal has been possibly shot.
Once again, thanks and be sure to report any new sightings of a marine mammal, alive or dead, on West Seattle beaches to Seal Sitters Hotline (206-905-7325)
West Seattle, Washington