Subject: Sea lions shot, decapitated of (fwd)

Mike Williamson (pita@www1.wheelock.edu)
Mon, 2 Feb 1998 14:53:33 -0500 (EST)

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---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 30 Jan 98 13:05:00 GMT 
From: r.mallon1@genie.geis.com
To: marmam@uvvm.uvic.ca, pita@whale.simmons.edu
Subject: Sea lions shot, decapitated of

Sea lions shot, decapitated off California coast

    SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Sea lions are being shot,
and sometimes decapitated, in the waters off a popular northern
California beach by unknown assailants, park rangers said on
Thursday.
     "On our beach alone I know of at least six over the last
week," said Donna DeBaets, a ranger at Doran Beach, about 50
miles (80 km) north of San Francisco. "There may be others in
other jurisdictions as well."
     The massive marine mammals, which can weigh up to 600 pounds
(270 kg) and measure as much as eight feet (2.4 metres) long,
are washing up dead and experts have been called in to
investigate, DeBaets said.
     She declined to speculate as to who might be killing the sea
lions, a felony crime.
     Some of the dead animals are so decomposed when they are
found that it is impossible to tell if they were beheaded by
humans or by sharks, she added.
     In the past, park officials have said sea lions can be the
target of local fishermen, who blame them for declining stocks
of coho salmon and steelhead trout.