Monday, May 05, 2008

Trapped Sea Lions Shot Dead in Oregon

For years, the Bonneville Dam on the Oregon-Washington border has made life all too easy for the sea lions that congregate in the Columbia River just outside of Portland. Fish ladders in the dam create a bottleneck for salmon swimming upriver to spawning grounds, which allows sea lions to easily swoop in and dine on endangered salmon.

In an attempt to keep the sea lions from gorging on the salmon, state and federal authorities set up traps to humanely catch and remove them from the dam, to be shipped to zoos and wildlife parks. But over the weekend someone shot and killed six of the sea lions as they lay in the traps. According to the Associated Press, the animals were apparently shot in the middle of the night; their bodies were found around noon on Sunday.

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