Attacks on our Wildlife: Heinous Crimes Warrant Our Attention

Attacks on our Wildlife: Heinous Crimes Warrant Our Attention

There are very few things more heinous than acts of cruelty against animals.  This surfaces from time to time in killing of sea otters. Unfortunately, throughout the years we have had to deal with news about sea otters shot and left for dead. Some are killed and wash up on shore and others are left disfigured or maimed.  These crimes against sea otters and other wildlife are horrific and incomprehensible.

Federal and State laws have come into existence to prevent man from destroying the fragile balance in the ecosystem by superimposing his perceived “right” to all environmental resources without consideration to the devastating effects of eliminating a plant or animal species.  Not only is it illegal to harm animals protected under the Endangered Species Act and Marine Mammal Protection Act, but it is our obligation to enforce these protections. Over the years, a number of organizations, including Friends of the Sea Otter, have together raised money as rewards to aid in bringing the perpetrator(s) to justice.

In September 2013, three sea otters were found shot to death at Asilomar Beach along the Monterey Peninsula. This is a very horrific crime and the first time since we can remember that multiple sea otters were found killed at the same time.  Friends of the Sea Otter (FSO) has joined other conservation organizations, a concerned citizen, a wildlife health center and a state wildlife agency to collectively offer a reward, which now sits at $21,000.  We are hoping that this is enough of an incentive for someone to come forward to provide information to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that would lead to an arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for this heinous crime.  A successful prosecution could result in up to $100,000 in fines and jail time.  FSO has established a reward fund to help with this reward and any future situations that necessitate posting a reward.  You can contribute at:

In another case, just North of Monterey, Walter, a sea otter found riddled with shotgun pellets, was rescued on October 18, 2013 after members of the public reported seeing a lethargic and uncharacteristically approachable sea otter on the shoreline of Tofino, British Columbia.  Walter was immediately brought to the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre and underwent extensive treatment and rehabilitation at the Centre for the next 11 weeks.  While the treatments and surgeries have gone well, the injuries have left Walter blind and thus unable to be reintroduced into the wild.  Walter has limited mobility, hindering his ability to forage for food.  Luckily Walter has been relocated to the Vancouver Aquarium and will spend the rest of his life cared for in a comfortable and safe setting.  FSO is willing and able to work with any Canadian agencies and organizations that are seeking to find the perpetrator of this crime.  We have publicized our efforts widely and will continue do to so.

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