Six sea lions killed on salmon-rich US river

Investigators are searching for clues in the shooting deaths of six protected sea lions at a dam between the American states of Washington and Oregon, Reuters reports.

The discovery of the dead sea lions on Sunday followed other shootings in recent years that caused bodies riddled with bullet holes to wash up on the banks of the Columbia River, the report said. The deaths temporarily halted a new trapping programme in the region, which won permission from the federal government in March to trap and kill the protected mammals to save endangered salmon.

For the past five years, the sea lions have been making the 241-kilometre-trip up the Columbia River, a favourite of sport and commercial fishermen. The sea lions eat salmon as they channel into the Bonneville Dam’s fish ladders on their way upriver to spawn.

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