Man who shot and killed elephant seal facing six months in prison

December 22, 2020

Jordan Gerbich

The 30-year-old man who shot and killed an elephant seal in San Simeon in 2019 is facing six months in prison after pleading guilty on Monday.

On the evening of Sept. 28, 2019, Jordan Gerbich left his Santa Maria home armed with a .45-caliber pistol and drove to the elephant seal viewing area adjacent to the Piedras Blancas Marine Reserve. Using a flashlight to identify his target, Gerbich shot and killed an elephant seal on the beach.

The next day, the dead seal was found on the beach with a single bullet hole in its head.

Northern elephant seals are a protected species under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. They live up and down North America’s Pacific coast and haul out on land in areas called rookeries. These rookeries are typically populated with elephant seals year-round, but populations vary throughout the year based on breeding and molting cycles.

United States District Judge Dale S. Fischer has scheduled an April 12 sentencing hearing, at which time Gerbich will face a statutory maximum sentence of one year in federal prison. However, as part of a plea agreement, federal prosecutors will recommend the judge sentence Gerbich to six months in prison and one year of supervised release.

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It’s actually reported here on CCN. From an older NBC news article here

“The seal was discovered shot in the head with its tail fins cut off, and it had been cut open…”

If this was a drunken/really stupid bet, you would need proof and probably a really dumb accomplice who freaked out and sang.

He’s living in Utah where you’re more free to shoot critters large and small. I’m sure that’s why elephant seals stay far away from Utah, LOL.

Candidate for a Trump pardon.

Why did he do it and how did authorities catch him?


6 months?! This cowardly sociopathic piece of human trash deserves ten times that. It’s well known that most serial killers got their start harming animals.

What should be the penalty for people voting in elections who are illegal aliens and or vote more than once?

Perhaps he’ll pay otherwise….don’t most ESA takings risk Draconian penalties, like a quarter mil? I don’t think his troubles end with jail; he could be wiped out, moneywise.

Unfortunately, he doesn’t exactly look like he’s rolling in dough….

Animal cruelty, bed wetting and fire starting are the three traditional indicators of a sociopath (potential serial killer), or someone without a conscience, and though it’s not always the case that someone with these childhood qualities grows up to be a killer, there is tons of anecdotal evidence that points to this being the case.

Also, ALL kids have a fascination with fire, the difference in whether it’s unhealthy depends on how deeply the fascination runs with the individual.

That said, this idiot deserves hard time for this senseless act. I wonder how they caught him? I’ll have to check if there’s a previous story on CNN.

The elephant seals are a natural wonder and local treasure, and the Piedras Blancas rookery viewing area is one of the great nature watching sites in the entire world.

How much will his incarceration cost the taxpayers. Why don’t those sentenced to jail/prison time have to repay the Govt?

Definitely a candidate for a road crew or some type of work party. JT is absolutely correct, cases like this (many of them) would better serve all with a requirement to show up to the work bus..