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Although they did not disclose how they were killed, NOAA biologists say that several of the 15 Stellar Sea Lions found dead 45 miles southeast of Cordova on Softuk Beach displayed evidence that they were killed by humans.
NOAA and law enforcement personnel traveled to the beach located in Prince William Sound after receiving a report of dead Sea Lions there on June 1. They quickly determined that three to five of the marine mammals showed definite signs of deliberate death by humans. The Sea Lions in question are from the western stock of Sea Lions and are listed under the Endangered Species Act.
Although in limited instances, Stellar Sea Lions may be taken by Natives in subsistence hunts. Stellar Sea Lions from the western stock have been declared endangered and are protected under the Endangered Species Act as well as the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
NOAA announced a $2,500 reward for information that leads to the conviction of the person or persons responsible for the Sea Lion’s deaths. They ask that anyone with details to call Special Agent Glenn Charles at 907-271-1824.