Along the stunning Pacific coast came a shocking discovery -- an adult female sea lion washed ashore on Venice Beach with multiple gunshot wounds.
A $5,000 reward to help catch the person taking aim at sea lions is being offered by Peter Wallerstein, director of Marine Mammal Rescue.
"It is more common than not. Most of these actions take place miles off shore, so we're only seeing the ones that come to shore," said Wallerstein.
Like a sea lion pup Wallerstein rescued. Hours later, the pup had to be euthanized.
"When I approached the animal, he was just dragging his back, and I knew something was wrong," Wallerstein said.
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Fort MacArthur Care Center found a .22-caliber bullet in the animal's spine.
Fishermen sometimes throw legal seal bombs to keep predators away from nets, but is economic desperation pushing some to now pull a trigger?
Santa Monica City Councilman Bobby Shriver said the Fish and Game Department can help protect the catch, without harming the herds.
"If it was a fisherman and that person was trying to protect his or her livelihood, than there is a better way to do it," said Shriver. "If it was just a mean person, than that person is going to get caught and go to jail. There is nothing to say about somebody who's just having sport on a defenseless creature by shooting them."