Pacific Southwest Region
California, Nevada and Klamath Basin

$21,000 Reward Offered for Information on Sea Otter Shootings on Monterey Peninsula

Feb 14, 2014

February 14, 2014
Contact: Resident Agent Rebecca Roca (916) 569-8488
Rebecca_roca@fws.gov


$21,000 Reward Offered for Information on Sea Otter Shootings

Burlingame, Calif. – A group of public and private entities and concerned citizens is offering a reward of $21,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for the shooting deaths of three southern sea otters on the Monterey Peninsula in September 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today.

Three male sea otters, two sub-adults and one adult, were found dead in the vicinity of Asilomar State Beach in Pacific Grove, Calif.  One was found dead on September 3, 2013, and two were found dead on September 5, 2013. 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 California law.

Necropsies revealed that all three otters had been killed by coated lead bullets. Two of the otters were shot in the head, and the third was shot through the back.  The animals were killed between September 1, 2013 and September 5, 2013. Killing a southern sea otter is punishable by up to $100,000.00 in fines and a possible jail sentence.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is offering a reward of up to $5,000.00; The Humane Society of the United States and The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust are offering a reward of up to $5,000; California Department of Fish and Wildlife is offering a reward of up to $4,500.00; U.C. Davis Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center is offering  a reward of up to $2,000.00; an anonymous private donor is offering a reward of up to $2,000.00; Defenders of Wildlife is offering a reward of up to $1,000.00; Friends of the Sea Otter are offering a reward of up to $1,000.00; and Dusty Nabor, a private citizen, is offering a reward of up to $500.00. 

Southern sea otters, also known as California sea otters, were listed as threatened in 1977. The southern sea otter once occurred in areas well outside of California, though currently range from San Mateo County in the north to Santa Barbara County in the south, living in the near shore waters along the California coast.

Anyone with information about the sea otter shootings should contact Special Agent Souphanya of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at 650-876-9078. An anonymous report can also be made by calling  the US Fish and Wildlife contact line at 703-358-1949, or the California Department of Fish and Wildlife CalTIP line at 1-888-DFG-CALTIP.

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 http://www.fws.gov/cno. Connect with our Facebook page, follow our tweets, watch our YouTube Channel, and download photos from our Flickr page