Shot sea lions wash up in Puget Sound

Volunteers in Washington state have reported an unusually high number of dead sea lions washing up on beaches in Puget Sound, many of which have been shot. At least 16 animals, believed to have died from acute trauma, have appeared. Necropsies conducted so far have shown that at least eight were shot, including one found with bullet fragments and another with shotgun pellets in their skulls. The conservation group Seal Sitters reports that the confirmed cases are more than six times the usual number of seal shootings for September and November, and more incidents may be confirmed as further necropsies are performed. Most sea lion shootings typically occur during winter months, when fishermen blame the animals for decreasing salmon runs.

Read the latest updates here, or read coverage from CNN here.

Header Image: Sea lions appear in Washington state, where an unusually high number of the animals have been shot. ©Ingrid Taylar