Debate Magazine

Update: Significant Reward Offered in Shooting of Sea Lions

Posted on the 01 February 2012 by Mikeb302000
The shooting of a natural resource, an endangered species, has resulted in the offer of a $10,000 reward.  Wildlife does not belong to gun owners to shoot.  These animals are not their property, they are protected species.  This is a crime; whoever did this is one more gun owner, one more shootist, who is not lawful.
ON the Pacific coast, sea lions have been an important animal to tourism, with more than one species or variety of sea lion involved, so it would not surprise me to see additional rewards if necessary, to get results.
From MSNBC.com :

$10,000 reward in sea lion killings


This dead sea lion with bullet wounds was found on a West Seattle beach on Jan. 23. By msnbc.com staffA group best known for fighting off whalers has joined federal investigators looking into the recent killings of sea lions near Seattle, offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible.
Another sea lion was found dead over the weekend, adding to seven others found in recent weeks with bullet wounds. A harbor seal was also found dead.
Federal officials planned to examine the latest sea lion on Tuesday to determine if it, too, had been shot.
The latest sea lion found was on the Nisqually River, south of Seattle, as were six of the other sea lions.
"This is a violation of U.S. federal law and the person or persons responsible for these shootings must be apprehended and brought to justice," Paul Watson, founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, said in announcing the reward late Monday.
Watson, who is on a Sea Shepherd ship off Antarctica pursing Japanese whaling ships, noted that his group has offered rewards in the past, including one that led to the arrest of a man convicted of killing 22 seals in New Zealand.
STORY: 8 sea lions found dead
The suspicion has been that sea lions in the Seattle area's Puget Sound are being targeted because they devour salmon, thus reducing what's available for fishermen.
"Sadly, shootings occur annually in the Pacific Northest, particularly in fall and winter when large numbers of sea lions move into our area in search of food," Seal Sitters, a group that responds to marine mammal strandings in the Seattle area, noted in its blog.
Sea lions are certainly feeding this winter, including the Nisqually, where a state wildlife biologist recently took photos of a large congregation. "This is the most sea lions I have ever seen at once in south sound," Pete Topping told the Seattle Times of the Dec. 24 sighting.

Another sea lion body found on Nisqually Delta

It is unknown whether this is the ninth sea lion found shot dead in recent weeks, but the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will conduct a necropsy to determine how the animal died. view full articleAnyone with information was urged to contact the federal investigation hotline at 800-853-1964. "The information can be provided in confidence and the source can remain confidential," Sea Shepherd said in a statement.
Penalties could range from fines to jail time. One of the animals killed was a Stellar sea lion, a species protected under the federal Endangered Species Act.

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