By Frank Elaridi
California wildlife experts and cops are baffled — and angered — by whoever is shooting sea lions whose corpses are washing up along the Malibu coast.
“I have no idea why people would shoot a sea lion,” Jonsie Ross of the California Wildlife Center told ABC News.
Since August, four sea lions have washed up along the Malibu coast. The most recent were on Oct. 10 and 11.
Mike Remski, marine mammal rehabilitation manager at the California Wildlife Center acknowledges the higher number of incidents in recent weeks.
“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,” Remski said. “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.”
Ross was part of the rescue team that tried to save the sea lion that washed onto shore on Oct. 10. She told ABC News affiliate KABC that she remembers both the clusters of people gathered around the animal, and its four deadly gunshot wounds.
Remski was the one who found the dead sea lion on the Big Rock Beach on Oct. 11.
“That one washed up dead. It was an adult female sea lion,” Remski said. “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.”
Not only is shooting these animals inhumane, it’s also illegal. More....