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Sea Otter (intentionally shot and killed), female pup, 77cm length, Morro Strand State Beach 24 June 2010
Image by mikebaird
Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris) (intentionally shot and killed), female pup, 77cm length, Morro Strand State Beach near Northpoint bluff, Toro Lane and Beachcomber Dr., near the State Park Campground, Morro Bay, CA. recently shot and killed by someone, 24 June 2010, as determined by on site necropsy by Mike Harris of California Fish & Game. (ref. Michael Harris, Environmental Scientist/Sea Otter Biologist, Calif. Dept of Fish and Game, OSPR-Veterinary Services, 1385 Main Street, Morro Bay, CA 93442, 805.772.1135 office; 831.212.7090 cell; mikeharris [at} ospr.dfg.ca d o t gov. I (Mike Baird) found and reported this otter at 5:25 pm 24 June 2010. I pulled it from a rising tide at the waters edge to the highest adjacent point using a mutt mitt bag, and tagged the subject for Mike Harris’ attention. I left a message for him at 805.772.1135, emailed the first three images with GPS coordinates to him and to Flickr, and moments later Mike Harris responded and was on the scene. These graphic images document the on site necropsy process, and, as can be seen, a bullet (lead pellet?) was found in the skull of the baby otter and recent blood trauma was found around the wound under the skin and on the skull. By request, these graphic images and videos were not immediately published in public view here on Flickr, pending permission by Fish and Game, as they wanted to address how to best handle publication of such crime scene information to optimize their ability to prosecute this crime.
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Last week 6/24/2010 I found a sea otter that had been shot and killed on Morro Strand.
Mike Harris of CA Fish & Game came and performed an onsite necropsy, which I documented with an iPhone camera.
Until this moment I had been requested to withhold publishing these images and videos showing the cause of death.
The images and videos have now been approved for publication, and are exposed at Flickr.
Warning, these are graphic images showing blood and guts and the bullet/pellet projectile and hole in cranium.
they are posted for educational purposes, and hopefully to spur someone who might have witnessed this crime to report the culprit to the authorities.
The set is at
Here is a copy of the official press release.
California Department of Fish and Game News Release
June 30, 2010
Contact: Warden Hank Hodel, DFG Law Enforcement, (805) 610-3920
Kirsten Macintyre, DFG Communications, (916) 322-8988
Information Sought on Sea Otter Shooting on Morro Bay Beach
The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) is seeking information about a
sea otter that was shot in Morro Bay on Thursday, June 24.
The young female otter was found just north of the Morro Strand
Campground along the beach in Morro Bay. Wardens estimate that the
animal was killed by a shot to the head between 9 a.m. and noon. A
necropsy was conducted and the weapon was determined to be a pellet gun.
DFG is seeking witnesses or any information related to the shooting.
Anyone with information is urged to contact DFG Warden Hank Hodel at
(805) 610-3920. An anonymous report can also be made by calling DFG’s
CalTIP line, 1-888-DFG-CALTIP.
Sea otters are federally protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act
and the Code of Federal Regulations. If convicted of shooting an otter,
an individual can face up to ,000 in fines.
Subscribe to DFG News via email or RSS feed. Go to www.dfg.ca.gov/news.