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February 12, 2010

Reward Offered in Sea Lion Poaching Case in West Seattle

The Humane Society of the United States and The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust are offering a reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the deaths of five sea lions.

The Case:

According to published media reports, five sea lions were found dead on a West Seattle beach over the past week. Necropsies revealed that the animals died of gunshot wounds and had been dead for one to two weeks.

"The individual or individuals responsible for this callous poaching have an appalling disregard for both sea lions and the laws that exist to protect these iconic animals," said Dan Paul, Washington state director for The HSUS. "The Humane Society of the United States applauds the National Marine Fisheries Service for investigating this case."

One of the dead sea lions was a Steller sea lion, which is protected by the federal Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The others were California sea lions, which are also protected by the MMPA. If convicted, the poacher may face a $50,000 fine. 

Poaching:

Every year, thousands of poachers are arrested nationwide; however, it is estimated that only 1 percent to 5 percent of poachers are caught. Poachers kill wildlife anytime, anywhere and sometimes do so in particularly cruel ways.

The Investigators:

Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the National Marine Fisheries Service at 1-800-853-1964.

The HSUS works to stop wildlife abuse across the country. Visit humanesociety.org/wildlifeabuse for more information.

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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org.

Since 1993 the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust, alone or in partnership with other conservation groups, has participated in the protection of more than 1.8 million acres of wildlife habitat in 37 states and seven foreign countries. On all properties owned by the Trust or protected by the Trust's conservation easement, both here and abroad, we prohibit recreational and commercial hunting and trapping and restrict logging and development. The Trust's commitment to these principles will never change as we continue to assist caring landowners to make their property permanent, safe homes for wildlife. Join our online community at wildlifelandtrust.org.

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