Warning: Disturbing photos after the jump.
The group Marine Animal Rescue is offering $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whomever fatally shot a sea lion off Venice last week.
The shooting was reported about 3:30 p.m. Aug. 3, according to the organization. The sea lion washed ashore "spurting blood," but went back in the water when beach-goers came up to it, according MAR.
Then it came ashore once again at 6 p.m., that time succumbing to its wound, the organization states. MAR says this has happened before:
[An] 8-month-old sea lion pup was rescued by Marine Animal Rescue on February 3, 2009 at Dockweiler Beach, Playa del Rey.
This isn't a cruel prank by kids. Rather, MAR believes that anglers shoot the sea lions over competition for fish.
Some anglers feel that seals, sea lions and even pelicans are a threat to their livelihoods and will purposely injure or kill the animals. From shootings, to the use of seal bombs, these violent acts by cruel individuals must be stopped. Many more shooting victims don't make it to shore; they die a slow death at sea.
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Last week's victim was an adult female, according to the group.
Think you know the shooter? Call MAR at 1-800-39-WHALE.