Wash.: 8 sea lions found dead, apparently shot

January 28, 2012 - 12:25 AM

SEATTLE (AP) — Washington wildlife officials say eight sea lions have been found dead in the Puget Sound region in recent weeks — all apparently shot.

KING-TV reports (http://is.gd/s1aYqA ) that both the state Department of Fish and Wildlife and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are investigating the deaths.

The bodies of seven sea lions with bullet wounds were recently found on the Nisqually River.

On Monday, a sea lion was found dead on West Seattle's Lincoln Park beach. The animal protection group Seal Sitters says a necropsy showed that the sea lion had suffered a shark bite and had twisted intestines in addition to a bullet wound.

Investigators say they do not know who is responsible.

KING says one of the Nisqually casualties was a Steller sea lion, protected under the Endangered Species Act. The one found in West Seattle was a California sea lion, protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

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Information from: KING-TV, http://www.king5.com/