Two Bonneville Dam Sea Lions
BONNEVILLE, Wash. -- Two Bonneville sea lions now have a new home in Texas after they were captured in the Columbia River last month.
The California sea lions were pulled from traps below the dam and identified as persistent predators and removed from the Columbia River.
Thirteen have been trapped since March 9. Two were branded and released, two were sent to a Chicago aquarium. Three were euthanized for health and size issues and two were assigned to a zoo in Brownsville, Texas. The two now in Texas were transferred to the Point Defiance Zoo and from there, they will be sent on to a permanent home at the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville.
As these predatory sea lions face euthanization, activist organization In Defense of Animals has taken to naming the Columbia River sea lions. It's the organization's attempt to humanize the animals. One has been dubbed, "Sanctuary Sam" after the living sea lion used by NOAA-Fisheries to promote wildlife conservation
"This sea lion is on videos on their website teaching kids about protecting animals and here this same agency is killing sea lions," says spokesman Matt Rossell.
In Defense of Animals is pushing to end the trapping until more humane methods can be found to protect the endangered salmon. But according to NOAA Fisheries, the project will continue as ordered.
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