SEATTLE — Two more sea lions have been confirmed shot in the head, bringing the total shot dead in Puget Sound up to 12.
Casey Mclean, from SR, a local nonprofit dedicated to marine wildlife welfare, examined them just last week.
“We found these sea lions both washed up in the West Seattle area on December 4th, and December 5th. One we believe was reported across the waterway previously, so that animal just washed to the West Seattle area after about a day,” Mclean explained.
That brings the total to 18 dead sea lions stranded since late September in King and Kitsap counties, an exceptionally high number when there are usually only one to four strandings this time of year. Of those, 12 were shot in the head.
Mclean says the two most recent sea lions were severely decomposed, but she believes they were killed in the same time range as the others.
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“These were all robust body-condition males that did have full stomachs,” Mclean added.
One man named Bruce, who didn't want to show his face on camera, told KIRO 7 that in November, he witnessed fishermen on Alki shooting the animals, which is against federal law.
The National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration's Office of Law Enforcement is investigating and confirms there has long been competition for fish.
“Unfortunately, this isn't the solution to what a lot of people see as our problem of our declining salmon population,” Mclean said.
Mclean is hoping the killings will stop, at least in our area.
“Right around the Duwamish Head area, I believe fishing has closed, so we're hoping we don’t see any more of these negative interactions,” Mclean said.
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