Investigation into killings of sea lions continues

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by GARY CHITTIM / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on January 31, 2012 at 6:33 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 31 at 6:33 PM

Kathleen Maddox lives near the Nisqually Delta. There's only one way to get there, and after hearing about what happened to the sea lions, she agreed to take us in.

"I think they're kind of cool, I mean I live on the water because I like everything in the water,” she said.

Lately there have been plenty of sea lions in the water. A Seattle Times photo shows the partially sunken barge they have adopted.
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Today the sea lions were gone. And it was impossible to reach the beach at the Nisqually Delta.

But the investigation continues into the killing of some of them.

Slugs were pulled from four sea lions and a seal in the south sound and a necropsy is still under way on another sea lion found here.

Even without that one, five were found here and it doesn't take a wildlife enforcement agent to conclude, they are probably related.

NOAA investigators are revising their original numbers and locations of the dead creatures.

Four were found dead from gunshot wounds in the south sound near the Nisqually Delta, a fifth found there is still be examined for bullet wounds. One was found shot to death in Hood Canal near Bangor. Another found on the outer coast of the state.
  
There was also a seal found shot to death in the South Sound.
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"Why would somebody do that? You know, I've heard a lot of people complain about them but to go that extreme seems a bit much,” said Maddox.
 
At least six, most likely seven, sea lions were found shot to death and one harbor seal and investigators firmly believe there will be more.

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