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Decapitated Sea Lion Found in Campbell River
There was a grisly discovery this weekend on the Tyee Spit in Campbell River of a bullet riddled decapitated sea lion body.
Paul Cottrell who is the Pacific Marine Mammal Coordinator for Fisheries and Oceans Canada told HQ they really don’t know why the animal was shot or beheaded.
“With the information we have collected and photographic evidence we have determined it was a bullet wound that likely killed the animal,” said Cottrell. “It looks like the animal was shot a couple times in the shoulder, and then post mortem the head was removed.”
He adds that they just cannot explain why things like this happen, and they do happen several times a year in BC.
“We get several animals a year that are shot and that is why we have the BC Marine Mammal Response Network, which is a coast wide network that was developed to look at anthropogenic causes for deaths of marine mammals,” shared Cottrell.
Under marine regulations, it is illegal to kill or harm sea lions or seals without a license. And why someone would then behead the animal after death is a real question.
“We don’t know why the head was caught off; it does happen every year we have a number of carcasses with their heads missing, and we just don’t know why,” added Cottrell.
According to Cottrell the public is now key in them getting anywhere with their investigation.
“We are really relying on the public who may have witnessed the event or witnessed the shooting of marine mammals in the area that can come forward and provide information for us,” said Cottrell.
Anyone who has witnessed the shooting of sea lions or other marine animals in the area should call the BC Marine Mammal Response Network at 1-800-465-4336, to help with their investigation.
The sea lions body has been investigated by officials and now because it is fairly isolated, the body will be left where it is to decompose.
Photo: Fisheries and Oceans is investigating the appearance of a decapitated four-metre-long sea lion on a Campbell River beach.
Photograph by: Campbell River Courier-Islander
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