Six Puget Sound sea lions found dead with gun­shots

Tri-City Herald (Sunday) - - News -

Since Septem­ber, six sea lions have died from gun­shot wounds in cen­tral Puget Sound and Kit­sap County.

The Seat­tle Times re­ports that an­other seven are sus­pected to have died from “acute trauma” caused by hu­mans, in­clud­ing a de­com­posed sea lion with its head sliced off found washed ashore Tues­day in a West Seat­tle cove.

That’s ac­cord­ing to Seal Sit­ters Ma­rine Mam­mal Strand­ing Net­work, a group that re­sponds to re­ports of stranded or dead sea lions.

Michael Mil­stein, a NOAA Fish­eries spokesman, has con­firmed the deaths of five Cal­i­for­nia sea lions in West Seat­tle, in­clud­ing four that died of gun­shot wounds.

NOAA Fish­eries lawen­force­ment agents are in­ves­ti­gat­ing these crimes, which are pro­hib­ited un­der the Ma­rine Mam­mal Pro­tec­tion Act.

Be­tween 1998 and 2017, Na­tional Geo­graphic re­ported up to 700 Cal­i­for­nia sea lions were found with gun­shot and stab wounds in wa­ters off Cal­i­for­nia, Ore­gon and Wash­ing­ton.

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