Over the last month, four sea lions have been shot and killed along the California coast and wildlife experts are trying to figure out why. The sea lions have washed up on the Malibu coast shore line and the latest sea lions washed ashore on Oct. 10 and 11 and one of the sea lions had four gunshot wounds.
Friday, Jonsie Ross from the California Wildlife Center spoke to ABC News and said:
“I have no idea why people would shoot a sea lion.” Ross attempted to save one of the sea lions that washed ashore still alive, but it was too late.
Since August, four sea lions have washed up along the Malibu coast. The most recent were on Oct. 10 and 11.
Mike Remski is the marine mammal rehabilitation manager at the California Wildlife Center and Friday he told ABC News:
“The past couple of weeks, there have been more than usual animals stranding on the beaches. We are getting a greater number with bullet holes in them. For the ones that wash-up dead, necropsies are done and we try to retrieve the bullets to find a cause of death. If they’re alive, they’re sent immediately to the rehabilitation center [Marine Mammal Care Center (MMCC)] in San Pedro.”
Remski said that there is an increase in the shootings from what has been seen in the past. Remski found one of the sea lions on Big Rock Beach on Oct. 11.
“That one washed up dead. It was an adult female sea lion. I took a look at it because a rescuer wasn’t available and I took it down to the California Wildlife Center and it went to San MMCC ultimately. I happened to be there when they were doing the x-rays and it looked like a larger bullet, larger than a .22 and it went into the shoulder and most likely was the cause of death of the animal.”
Remski went on to say: “We always get increased shootings of sea lions when there is fishing going on whether it’s squid or other fishing offshore. We are very used to seeing animals with bullets in them especially during squid season.”
Shooting a sea lion is illegal in California.
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Sources: ABC News