Hall on decapitated sea lions washing up on shore

June 30, 2020
Times Colonist, CFAX 1070
Article Source: Read the Original Article

Marine mammal zoologist Adjunct Prof. Anna Hall was interviewed by the Victoria Times Colonist and was featured on the Al Ferraby Show on CFAX 1070 regarding a number of headless sea lions that have washed up on the shores of Vancouver Island.

Here is an excerpt: Hall, a marine-mammal zoologist with Victoria- and California-based Sea View Marine Services, said there appears to be five or six sea lions that have had their heads cut off by people.

“If it was a single animal, then there may be a reason that was much less sinister to explain it,” she said. “For instance, the animal was dead at sea and got run over by a boat.”

The idea of a predator causing the decapitation could also be considered, she said.

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It would also be unusual for one decapitated animal to be seen on one beach and then wash up on another, she said. “I’m open to other hypotheses,” Hall said. “I desperately hope that there is no connection to the illegal wildlife trade.”

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The cause of death in the recent incidents has yet to be determined and Hall hopes the Department of Fisheries and Oceans investigates.

“The pattern is what is most disturbing,” she said. “It’s appalling to think that anybody would think this, in any way, shape or form, is appropriate action toward a live or a deceased animal.”

Another issue is that a few of the animals are Steller sea lions, which are listed as a species of concern, Hall said.

This story appeared in the Times Colonist and on CFAX 1070.