January 10, 2011
Reward Offered in Sea Lion Shooting in Marin County, Calif.
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 identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for illegally shooting a sea lion in Sausalito, Calif.
According to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, on Dec. 8 at around 7 p.m., a beachgoer discovered the body of a male sea lion who was suffering from a gunshot wound to his head. The sea lion survived and is now in the care of the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito. The sea lion, named “Silent Knight” by his rescuers at the Marine Mammal Center, is now blind in his right eye and will not be able to return to the wild.
“NOAA Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement places a high priority on the protection of all marine mammals, and will aggressively pursue all leads to make an arrest in this case,” said Dan Torquemada, assistant special agent in charge for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service.
Killing a sea lion is a violation of the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act and is punishable by up to a year in prison and up to a $100,000 fine.
“This cruel shooting is a serious crime, and we implore anyone with information to come forward,” said Jennifer Fearing, California senior state director for The HSUS.“The Humane Society of the United States commends the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration for their investigation.”
The HSUS and HSWLT have an existing reward for information leading to a conviction in a sea lion shooting that took place in Del Norte County, Calif. in August 2010.
- Wildlife officials estimate that for every wild animal killed legally — tens of millions of animals per year — another is killed illegally.
- Every year, thousands of poachers are arrested nationwide; however, it is estimated that only 1 percent to 5 percent of poached animals are discovered by law enforcement.
- Poachers injure or kill wildlife anytime, anywhere and sometimes do so in particularly cruel ways. Wildlife officials report that poachers often commit other crimes as well.
- The HSUS and HSWLT work with state and federal wildlife agencies to offer rewards of $2,500 for information leading to arrest and conviction of suspected poachers.
Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the NOAA 24 hour enforcement hotline at 1-800-853-1964 or NOAA Special Agent Nicholas Call at (707) 575-6075, or NOAA Special Agent Dan Torquemada at (707) 575-6072. Callers may remain anonymous.
The HSUS and HSWLT work to curb poaching across the country. Visit humanesociety.org/poachingfor more information.
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.
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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, including 1,827 acres in California, and eight 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.