$7K Reward For Arrest In Sea Lion Shootings
Animal advocacy groups are offering $7,000 for any leads regarding a recent string of sea lion shootings in San Diego, California
San Diego Animal Advocates has put up a $2,000 reward for information leading to the identification and conviction of shooters who have been wounding sea lions in the area. The Humane Society of the United States and The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust are now adding $5,000 to the reward.
Eight sea lions had to be euthanised in the past year due to severe gunshot-related injuries, including bullets to their lungs, eyes and flippers. Cases included a sea lion that developed pneumonia due to a bullet to its lungs, one whose abdomen was riddled with buckshot and some that could no longer swim or forage for food.
‘If we don’t have video evidence, an eyewitness or somebody coming in and confessing, it’s very hard to track them down,’ John Thibodeau, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) spokesman for law enforcement, told U-T San Diego.
Harming a sea lion is against the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Violators may be slapped with civil fines of up to $11,000 and criminal penalties up to $100,000, plus a year of jail time.
Anyone with information related to the sea lion shootings can call the NOAA Hotline at 1-800-853-1964. Callers may remain anonymous.