by Ted Moore
It has been previously reported that the six sea lions found dead in traps were killed by gun shots. Now, officials think that the cause of their death was quite different: overheating. The change comes due to the fact that necropsies made by experts resulted no bullets. The National Marine Fisheries Service said Wednesday that all six sea lions died because of the heat.
The animals were found dead in the Columbia River traps on May 4. Oregon and Washington officials started trapping the animals because they were feasting on salmon at the Bonneville Dam. The studies of the tissue samples began just after the six sea lions were found dead and will continue for about 10 more days. After this it is possible for other results to appear.
The Human Society of the United States was not convinced that the 60-degree water affected these animals, which apparently are able to survive worse. However, marine mammal experts said that the sea lions are used to swimming in cold water. A veterinarian for the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport, whose name is Steven Brown gave an additional explanation. According to him when the animals realized that they were trapped they strived to get freed and their body temperature rose.
Initial reports include the presumption of the sea lions being shot by someone in a boat who allegedly used a high-powered rifle to send away the sea lions with the bullets passing through the flesh.
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