SEATTLE - Marine experts say a sick California sea lion found on a Seattle beach Sunday died of a fractured sternum, likely caused by blunt-force trauma.
The preliminary report sent to NOAA Fisheries found the animal's fractured sternum put pressure on his heart, causing internal bleeding.
The adult male sea lion was found live at Golden Gardens Park. He was removed by marine officials Monday afternoon and died during the night.
The report released Wednesday says animal could have been hit in a boat collison, a transient orca attack, a fight with another sea lion or a fall from a rocky resting spot.
NOAA's Brian Gorman say the animal wasn't in good health and underlying health problems may have contributed to his death.