Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.

News

Dead Sea Lions With Gunshot Wounds Found On Malibu Shores

sea_lions.jpg
(Photo by Robert Crow via Shutterstock)
Before you read more...
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

What kind of person shoots a .22 caliber bullet into unassuming sea lions? That's what federal authorities are trying to figure out.

At least two sea lions washed up along the shores of Malibu Beach earlier this month with gunshot wounds, and two others were found at Point Dume and near Zuma Beach in August, according to NBC Los Angeles.

“These were definitely gunshots," Donna Collins with the California State Parks told The Malibu Times. "And it had happened several times. I contacted the Coast Guard… They said they’d had several complaints about it as well. They said they were going to do their own investigation. We never heard anything about that particular incident.”

Jonsie Ross of the California Wildlife Center noted that there is a pattern of sea lion shootings every October when squid fishing season hits—and Malibu Beach is a popular hub for that, reported CBS Los Angeles. Fisherman need to use lights to attract squids to the surface of the water, and in effect also attract sea lions that hover around the boats to hunt. It's not illegal for seamen to scare the sea animals away with nonlethal acts such as a firecracker-like bombs; however, they do break the law when they shoot them, as stated under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Fines of up to $10,000 and a year in jail could ensue if caught.

Support for LAist comes from

Though, it's not very easy to find suspects. "You almost have to see it for a prosecution to be made," David Reilly of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration told NBC Los Angeles.

We leave you with this video of a sea lion pup learning to swim. It's just inhumane to shoot this adorable animal.