No Evidence People Shut
PORTLAND, Ore. - Federal authorities say there is no evidence that people had a hand in the deaths of six sea lions found dead in a trap last May on the Columbia River.
NOAA Fisheries issued a necropsy report Thursday saying changing river levels, movements of the sea lions, or entanglement of trip lines could have caused the gates to swing shut. The animals likely died from overheating, and there was no evidence they were shot or poisoned.
The trap was set up to remove California sea lions that eat threatened and endangered salmon at Bonneville dam's fish ladder.
The agency says the traps are being altered to be sure the gates can only be closed when researchers are present.
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