Posted by: The ocean update | August 29, 2016

Three sea otters shot to death near Santa Cruz ; Reward offered (California, USA)

sea-otter-raftAugust 29th, 2016. SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — Three sea otters were shot to death near Santa Cruz and officials have offered a $10,000 reward to anyone who can provide them with information regarding the fatal shootings.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service along with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife are investigating the deaths of three male sea otters, which washed ashore sometime mid-August in between the Santa Cruz Harbor and Seacliff State Beach in Aptos several days after being shot to death, according to officials.

Repercussions for slaying a southern sea otter, which are listed as a threatened species under the federal Endangered Species act, include a $100,000 fine and potential jail time, according to officials.

Although three other sea otters were killed by gunfire back in 2013 at Asilomar State Beach on the Monterey Peninsula, Max Schad, media representative for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, says that sea otter shootings are rare.

“This is pretty unique,” he said.

Schad added that officials have no credible information regarding potential suspects and motives pertaining to this month’s case.

Southern sea otters have been threatened since 1977 and regularly populate the waters off California’s coast, according to officials.

Anyone with information regarding the fatal shootings is asked to call the CalTIP line at 1-888-334-2258 or contact the special agent of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service at 650-876-907.



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