Pacific Southwest Region
California, Nevada and Klamath Basin

Reward Raised to $9,500 for Information on Sea Otter Shooting

Aug 06, 2010

FOR IMMIATE RELEASE:
August 5, 2010                                                                                               

Contact: Lois Grunwald, 805/644-1766, ext 332

Reward Raised to $9,500 for Information on Sea Otter Shoting

VENTURA, CA -- The reward is now up to $9,500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the shooting death of a southern sea otter in June of this year.

The female sea otter was found June 24 north of Morro Strand Campground, a beach north of Morro Bay.  Southern sea otters are protected as a threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act. They are also protected by state law.

The Defenders of Wildlife has put up a $2,500 reward, and Californians Turn-in-Poachers and Animal Rescue Team, Inc. are each offering $1,000. The Humane Society of the United States and the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust are offering a $2,500 reward, with an anonymous donor offering another $2,500. 

A necropsy revealed that that the otter had been killed by a pellet gun round to the head.  The animal was killed between 9 a.m. and noon on June 24, according to the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG).

Anyone with information about the sea otter shooting should contact special agent Mona Iannelli of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at 310-328-1516, ext 229, or DFG Warden Hank Hodel at 831-610-3920. An anonymous report can also be made by calling Department of Fish and Game’s CalTIP line, 1-888-DFG-CALTIP.

Killing a southern sea otter is punishable by $10,000 in fines and a possible jail sentence.

Southern sea otters, also known as California sea otters, were listed as threatened in 1977. Ranging from San Mateo County in the north to Santa Barbara County in the south, southern sea otters live in the near shore waters along the California coast.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.

-FWS-