PORTLAND – The deaths of six sea lions are under investigation after the bodies of the federally protected animals were found in open traps on the Columbia River and appeared to have been shot.
The carcasses of four California sea lions and two Steller sea lions were found Sunday about noon.
The discovery came one day after three elephant seals were found shot to death at a breeding ground in central California.
All three species are federally protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act. But Steller sea lions are also protected under the Endangered Species Act, authorities said.