Reward offered for killer of sea lion

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LOS ANGELES (BDCI) – Los Angeles Police are on a mission to find the person responsible for shooting and killing a seal lion.

The marine animal was found dead on Venice Beach last week.

The sea lion was taken to the Marine Mammal Care Center at Fort MacArthur where all injured or ill sea mammals are looked after when found in Los Angeles County.

Ten percent of these injured, rescued sea mammals are harmed by humans.

“I’ve seen this too much,” said Peter Wallerstein from Marine Animal Rescue.

“I’ve seen the brutalization of these animals every year.”

“She came up dead,” said Wallerstein. “She came up right here with a pool of blood around her. All it was doing out there was trying to eat, it wasn’t bothering anybody. It was living in its environment.”

Wallerstein received a call from a lifeguard saying the seal had been shot to death and washed up on Venice Beach. Wallerstein has been capturing and saving sea mammals for nearly three decades.

But not all marine mammals injured by humans come from gunfire.

“About three percent of animals are shot,” said veterinarian Lauren Palmer who looks after animals and determines their cause of deaths.

“I think that’s an underestimate because we don’t do complete analysis of every animal that comes in and dies.”

“It’s a painful, slow way to die,” said Palmer. “The animal that came in most recently suffocated and or bled to death. There were punctures both in its lung and its abdomen. That’s a tough way to go.”

Meanwhile, police continues to look for the shooter, and punishment for this crime can result up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

Anyone with more details about the killing which leads to the shooter will be rewarded $5,000. Tips will remain anonymous.

For more information about this case, call Marine Animal Rescue at 800-39-WHALE.

BY: Shayla Selva
Edited by: Don Weinstein
Source: ABC7
Date: August 12, 2011
Time: 9:30 A.M. (PDT)

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