Reward Offered in Santa Monica Seal Lion Shootings

PLAYA DEL REY, Calif. -- A marine animal rescue organization is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of the person or persons responsible for shooting sea lions in Santa Monica Bay.

The latest victim was an 8-month-old, 30 pound, sea lion pup which was found Feb. 3 at Dockweiler Beach paralyzed and in critical condition, according to Peter Wallerstein of Marine Animal Rescue, an organization dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of marine mammals.

The juvenile California sea lion, whose spine was severed, could not be saved and was euthanized, he said.

Wallerstein said the shootings of four sea lions has been confirmed this year in Los Angeles County.

Some fishermen believe seals, sea lions and pelicans are a threat to their livelihoods and deliberately hurt or kill the mammals, according to Wallerstein.

He asked citizens to report incidents by contacting Marine Animal Rescue's 24-hour hot line at 1-800-39-WHALE.

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