SEATTLE -- Another sea lion was discovered dead in the Nisqually Delta area near Olympia.
A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration enforcement officer said the body was found over the weekend. A necropsy will be conducted later today or Tuesday.
Until then, he told KING 5 News, we won't know if it is the ninth sea lion shot to death in the last few weeks.
Last week, officers investigated the carcasses of seven sea lions found in the same area of the Nisqually and one found on a West Seattle beach. All of them had been shot.
One of the sea lions is a Stellar sea lion, which is on the Endangered Species List. All sea lions are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Killing a sea lion can result in thousands of dollars in fines and up to one year in jail.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is offering a reward of $10,000 to any person who provides information to the authorities leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for shooting sea lions.
In you have information, all the NOAA Enforcement Hotline: (800) 853-1964