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Lincoln Park sea lion necropsy results revealed

Yesterday, a team from WDFW Marine Mammal Investigations Unit led by biologist Dyanna Lambourn performed a necropsy on a mature male California sea lion. The dead animal was discovered on the beach at Lincoln Park on Monday and photos were sent to WDFW. Seal Sitters’ volunteers and Seattle Parks’ staff secured the sea lion so that he would not be swept away by extreme high tides before the necropsy.

The moderate to advanced decomposed animal had been scavenged by birds and other creatures and had a shark bite wound. Muscle and tissue were closely examined for trauma and hemorrhage; evidence of a “penetrating” wound, suspected to be that of a bullet, was found deep in the tissue and tracked back to the entrance wound. Bullets create small entry holes that are often difficult to detect on the exterior. The head and lungs were removed for further examination and radiographs. That afternoon, a bullet was removed from the left lung lobe. Additionally of note, the intestines were twisted and will be examined - causes can include fishing lures and line, plastics, tumors or possible trauma from the wound. Organ tissue samples were taken for histopaths. WDFW intern and new Seal Sitters volunteer, Allison Reeder (left in photo), assists Dyanna with photo documentation.

NOAA Office for Law Enforcement has been notified and evidence and information will be turned over for investigation.
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