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$20,000 reward offered for information about killing of elephant seal in San Simeon

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SAN SIMEON, Calif. -- NOAA Fisheries' Office of Law Enforcement is offering up to $20,000 for information that leads to the suspect who shot an elephant seal near San Simeon on Highway 1.

On September 29, 2019, the seal's remains were found near a popular viewing area along Highway 1.

Officials say the animal had been shot in the head with its tail fins cut off and chest cavity open.

A bullet was found in the seal and officials are awaiting forensic analysis.

Elephant seals and other marine mammals are protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

The Protection Act prohibits harassment, hunting, capturing or killing of marine mammals.

Civil penalties cost up to $28,520 per count, a year in prison, criminal fines and forfeiture of vessels or vehicles involved.

The crime was done during Northern elephant seal mating season.

The NOAA organization say that Northern elephant seals spend most of the time at sea but come to shore twice a year to breed at beaches like Piedras Blancas near San Simeon.

Anyone with information should call the investigation agent at 831-647-4203 or the NOAA Fisheries' 24/7 enforcement hotline at 800-853-1964.

To report a dead, injured or stranded marine mammal, call the West Coast Marine Mammal Stranding Network at 866-767-6114.

Article Topic Follows: San Luis Obispo County

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Julia Nguyen


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