$20,000 reward offered for killer of seal near San Simeon

January 11, 2020

By CCT STAFF

Law enforcement is offering a reward of up to $20,000 for information that that leads to civil penalties or the arrest of anyone involved in the shooting death of an elephant seal found dead in September near San Simeon, according to a recent announcement from NOAA Fisheries.

On Sept. 29, the elephant seal’s dead body was found near a popular viewing area along Highway 1 where visitors can observe elephant seals on the beach. The animal had been shot in the head, with its tail fins cut off and chest cavity cut open.

A bullet was found in the seal and is awaiting forensic analysis.

Elephant seals and other marine mammals are protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act. It carries civil penalties of up to $28,520 per count, a year in prison, criminal fines, and forfeiture of vessels or vehicles involved.

Northern elephant seals spend most of the year at sea, but come ashore twice a year in rookeries such as the beaches at Piedras Blancas, near San Simeon. Commercial hunting pushed the species close to extinction around 1900 but the population has since recovered.

The Act prohibits harassment, hunting, capturing, or killing of marine mammals. However, the law allows for non-lethal methods to deter marine mammals from damaging private property, including fishing gear and catch, so long as it does not result in the death or serious injury of an animal.

“We’re asking for help from anyone who may have seen or heard or knows anything related to this incident,” said NOAA Fisheries Special Agent Jeremy Munkelt.

Officials are asking anyone with information to call the investigating agent direct at (831) 647-4203 or NOAA Fisheries’ 24/7 enforcement hotline at (800) 853-1964.


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Jorge Estrada

$20,000, impressive? I hope the violator has enough assets to make good on this bounty as I’m with the understanding that the F&W are underfunded and deer tags and fishing licenses do cover their wages. Sadly too many aspects of Gov is just another enterprise fund and not a benefit of the taxes we already pay. California is quickly be coming an Association Fee for all that live here and your taxes almost cover the pension liability. Another reason why many State employees retire elsewhere is because they are in the know.


Jorge Estrada

Correction: “do not cover their wages”


aye-caramba

This is NOT about finding the person who shot the seal, it’s about the OPTICS in front of constituency. Reality is they likely will not find the perp, and there is little wisdom in expending LEO resources in this direction, but it says “we did something”. That’s all.


kayaknut

So we can offer $20,00 reward for someone who shot one animal but only $4,000 reward for someone who has shot 42 cars with people in them. Guess we know who ranks higher in state.


mary margaret

There is a full-time CHP task force working on the Hwy. 101 Monterey County ‘projectile’ launcher. How much do you think that costs? And the reward is $15,000.

Rewards are most likely the way to solve both cases.


coronet blue

Are seal fins and internal organs used in Asian medicine? They have some strange uses for animal parts


pi-on

Would this qualify as a no-bail case as well?


IDBOUND

If when dressing out a deer and a bear attacks …ya shoot the bear also … More than likely this sea bear either got in someone’s net or followed a fish onto someone’s boat or attacked a kayaker etc ….I think that 20k reward could be spent in much better ways ….we have an overabundance of fish eating bears


SLOInd

Uneducated comment


mary margaret

Why did the authorities wait 4 months to announce this despicable act?


Snoid

Not to say this is acceptable but when was the last time Ca government offered $20K to find out who killed a human?


oldtimer

They do all the time, including in the county for missing people, stop making this political, so many of your posts are false narratives and misleading Snoid. Do you ever listen to or watch local news?


Snoid

Families do,not the gov. Besides, where the hell do you see the words democrat, republican or politics in my post? A little chip on the shoulder perhaps old timer?


SLOInd

close to 8 billion people, more than enough. Less than 150,000 elephant seals WORDLWIDE. Do the math.


Snoid

I wonder how many the Eskimos eat each year? Recon if they moved to slo they’d be locked up and starved to death eh.


info

“Save the whales you funky mama…..save all the whales…..but shoot the seals” – cheech & chong


Sorry I can’t get their song out of my head everytime I hear about this sad incident.