MORRO BAY, Calif. (AP) — California authorities are investigating the fatal shooting of a protected southern sea otter that had been rescued and returned to the ocean last year.
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The state Department of Fish and Wildlife said Tuesday that the dead otter was found floating in Morro Bay in September and a necropsy determined it was killed with a pellet gun.READ MORE: COVID, Homeless Encampments Are Final Straws For School In San Jose's Little Italy Neighborhood
A numbered tag identified the animal as an otter that had previously been found tangled in a fishing line. It was rehabilitated and returned to the wild in July 2016.
The department says the killing was the latest in a rash of sea otter crimes along the stretch of coastline between San Francisco and Los Angeles.MORE NEWS: COVID: Health Officials Find More CoCo County Restaurants Not Checking Vaccine Cards
A skinned otter was found in September. Three otters were shot to death in August 2016.