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Newport Beach

Volume 5, Issue 55  |  July 10, 2020

Police Files

Sea lion shot and then found in distress at the Wedge, is euthanized after rescue efforts fail

Pacific Marine Mammal Center (PMMC) rescued a female California sea lion in distress from the Wedge on the morning of Monday, December 16, after being reported by Newport Beach Animal Control. 

During her check-in, she was observed to have two distinct wounds, one of which was a draining abscess on her dorsal back causing her pain and discomfort and limiting her ability to move normally. While conducting radiographs to obtain further information on the extent of the animal’s injury, her chest indicated two gunshots, most likely from a pellet rifle. 

The one-and-a-half-year old sea lion, named Mandalorian by its rescuers, was carefully monitored throughout the next week, and despite treatment, her health continued to decline. At that point, a difficult decision was made, and the animal was humanely euthanized on December 22. 

Police Files sea lion shot

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of PMMC

Mandalorian, a California sea lion found shot by unknown suspects; unfortunately, she had to be euthanized due to the extent of her injuries

A necropsy revealed that one of the bullets impacted between the rib and adjacent vertebrae. This entry wound most likely became infected, leading to severe muscle necrosis around the impact site and an accumulation of fluid in the chest cavity. The second gunshot was lodged in the musculature between the ribs. 

The gunshot pellets have been recovered and will be sent to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Marine Fisheries Service Office of Law Enforcement (NOAA NMFS OLE) for further investigation. 

“Unfortunately, what we saw is taking place up and down the Pacific Coast. These are disgusting and intentional acts, many of which are pre-meditated. We know there are many out there that feel like they are competing with the sea lions for the same resources. However, there’s a pathway for us to cohabitate with these precious marine mammals and shooting them is not the way,” said Peter Chang, CEO at PMMC. 

The penalties for killing a sea lion can be up to a year in prison and or a fine of up to $25,000.

Car vs. truck results in chemical spill that closes Coast Highway

On Tuesday morning, January 7, at approximately 7:41 a.m., the Newport Beach Police Department responded to a traffic collision at E. Coast Highway and Newport Center. The collision involved a truck and a sedan.

The truck was carrying a cleaning chemical that spilled as a result of the accident. NBPD didn’t identify the chemical but said there was “no danger to the community.”

As a precaution, police closed traffic on westbound PCH and on southbound lanes of Newport Center Drive while the chemical was cleaned up. They remained closed until around 1:30 p.m.

One of the involved parties was transported to the hospital with a complaint of pain. 

The community received notification following the accident via social media and was advised to avoid the area.

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