Officials are investigating the deaths of six sea lions who appear to have been shot Sunday after climbing onto traps in the Columbia River.
Wildlife officials said that the bodies of the sea lions were discovered at noon Sunday on two floating traps just below Bonneville Dam.
“In each of the two traps were three dead sea lions,” Brian Gorman, regional spokesman for the National Marine Fisheries Service, said. “There was one Stellar sea lion and two California sea lions in each trap.”
The sea lions appear to have been shot during the night by someone on the Washington side of the river, Gorman said.
I’m far from a PETA type, but I did think it was sensible that the sea lions being trapped were going to Sea World rather than just being killed.
Now some sick individual has probably put the entire thing on hold. I can empathize that law enforcement officers always have a lot on their plate, especially dealing with crimes against humans rather than animals, but it would be great if someone is brought to justice in this case. That’s just wrong.
(Cross-posted at my personal blog.)
I wouldn’t say the trapping went wrong, I’d say a criminal interfered with it.
Hell, it could have been PETA. They would rather kill animals than have them in captivity. They have demonstrated that before.
Broadway Joe spews:
But I wouldn’t be surprised that local fishermen were behind this. Deplorable as it certainly is, sea lions have figured out that hanging around the fish ladders at dams and locks can lead to an easy meal, and it is cutting into local salmon stocks, which means cutting into the livelihoods of certain individuals. Anyone remember Herschel?
But I admit that I also wouldn’t be surprised if PETA was behind this somehow. Sick bastards, they are……
Sad but true! I agree with all 3 comments, most likely PETA behind it!
Jon DeVore spews:
The Columbian is reporting that the gates on the traps were closed, when supposedly standard procedure is to leave them open so the animals get used to the traps, then close them when they are ready to transport.
There is no evidence yet about who was behind this. There are crazy animal rights people in the world and there are crazy other kinds of people in the world. Hopefully someone will be caught, there is no way to justify that action at all.
Roger Rabbit spews:
No doubt this was done by a frustrated fishermen, probably of the commercial fishing variety. Regardless of one’s sentiments about wild animals — the sealions are predators and were doing what nature programmed them to do, eating fish — these self-appointed vigilantes are criminals. Sealions are legally protected under the Marine Mammals Protection Act, and killing them without proper authority is a federal felony. Regardless of the pros and cons of dealing with sealions by killing them, these yahoos belong in a federal slammer. There might be a good opportunity here for cultural cross-training by putting them in the same cell as the renegade Makah whalers.
Roger Rabbit spews:
But the mere fact wildlife officials are trapping sealions below the Bonneville Dam illustrates the dismal failure of the nation’s Pacific salmon management policies.
Salmon have populated the Pacific Northwest for over 40 million years. The Pacific N.W.’s present landscape, as we know it, has existed for about 16,000 years. Humans have occupied this landscape for at least 12,000 of those years.
Despite harvest by the First Americans who lived in harmony and balance with the environment for millenia, the fish did just fine until white settlers showed up. Then the fish runs went to hell in a hurry. The white man screwed things up from Day One. They did it with habitat destruction, overfishing, pollution, and a host of other wrongs against the rivers and the environment — and, contrary to popular belief, the major damage to the salmon runs was already accomplished and the fish populations were already decimated long before the first dams were built.
Sealions are a problem only because the stupid white man wiped out so many of the fish that the miniscule number of fish eaten by the sealions represent an important percentage of the tiny breeding stock that’s left. The sealions have been coming here and eating fish for millions of years. They don’t see anything wrong with it. They’re not responsible for man’s devastation of the salmon runs, nor smart enough to understand that eating fish as millions of years of evolution has programmed them to do is a threat to the few remaining fish. It’s not the sealions’ fault; it’s the white man’s fault.
If you want more salmon in the Columbia river, you won’t get there by shooting 6 sealions. If you’re serious about preserving what’s left of the salmon runs, then you should get serious about breaching the four lower Snake River dams. These were the last of the Columbia-Snake dams built; they were built fairly recently; building them was inadvisable and bad judgment; they block 1,000 miles of the Columbia-Snake’s last, best, most important spawning tributaries. That’s too high a price to pay for only 5% of the region’s electricity and irrigation water for only 17 giant corporate farms.
Roger Rabbit spews:
Meanwhile, Alaska’s GOP-controlled state government wants to issue permits to mining companies that will allow them to destroy the world’s greatest salmon river. This needs to be stopped by a Democratic president and a Democratic Congress. The minerals are a nonrenewable resource that produce an economic return only once and can be obtained elsewhere; the salmon are a food resource that a growing human population needs ever more badly and which can last forever if managed with more wisdom than we’re seeing here.
Roger Rabbit spews:
The environment is too important to entrust it to Republicans. The GOP just can’t be trusted with our fish, our public lands, our wildlife, our water, our air, or the planet that must feed us.
Hey Pelletizer if your friendly People Eating Tasty Animals did this you support them in the slammer?