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June 20, 2012

Reward Offered for Information in Recent String of Sea Lion Shootings

The Humane Society of the United States and The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust are offering a reward of $2,500 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for illegally shooting multiple California sea lions and Steller sea lions.

According to published media reports, multiple sea lions, most with gunshot wounds, have been discovered on beaches in southern Washington and northern Oregon. The animals have been found near the mouth of the Columbia River.

“Whoever is responsible for this senseless and illegal cruelty must be brought to justice,” said Dan Paul, Washington state director for The HSUS. “The Humane Society of the United States thanks NOAA for investigating this case.” 

Both species of sea lion are protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and Steller sea lions are further protected by the Endangered Species Act.

Investigators ask that anyone with information about this case contact the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration at 360-268-6239. Callers may remain anonymous. 

 Poaching:

  • Although some have expressed concern over sea lions eating salmon in the Columbia River, government reports have pointed to far greater impacts on salmon recovery from hatchery operations, dams, fisheries and non-native sport fish. 
  • Litigation by the Humane Society of the United States has challenged issuance of a lethal management program at the Bonneville Dam. The litigation cites recent estimates of one percent or less predation at the same time that the government authorizes fisheries to kill 10-13 percent of these same salmon.
  • 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.

The HSUS and HSWLT work to curb poaching across the country. Visit humanesociety.org/poaching for more information. 

Media Contact: Kaitlin Sanderson, 301-721-6463, ksanderson@humanesociety.org

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