Officials confirm 10th sea lion killed by gunshot wound

SEATTLE (AP) — A necropsy has determined that a seal lion died from a gunshot wound, marking the 10th to have been found shot and killed in the Puget Sound.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports the Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network confirmed the death of the sea lion found in west Seattle last week.

Sixteen dead sea lions have been reported in King and Kitsap counties in recent months. Some of the deaths were caused by “acute trauma,” including encounters with humans or attacks by other animals.

Killing sea lions is illegal under the federal Marine Mammal Act. It’s punishable by up to a year in prison and a $25,000 fine.

The Marine Animal Rescue and Sea Shepherd Seattle are offering rewards for information about the shootings that leads to an arrest.