20 dead sea lions in 2 months in Northwest

GEARHART, Ore. (AP) — About 20 dead sea lions — most with gunshot wounds — have been found in northern Oregon and southern Washington in just two months, a marine mammal researcher says.

Dalin D’Alessandro said the shooting surge since the beginning of April is claiming both California and Steller sea lions. She’s a Portland State University research assistant with the Northern Oregon-Southern Washington Marine Mammal Stranding Network.

The dead creatures have been found near the mouth of the Columbia River and a few miles to the north and south.

D’Alessandro thinks the killing is due to fishermen frustrated over competition for their catch. While it’s typical to see a slight increase in dead sea lions around the opening of salmon season, recent numbers are about four times the norm for the same time period.

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