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.
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: San Jose Stoners Find Ways To Celebrate 4/20, Pandemic-Style
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.READ MORE: Hope, Skepticism: Oaklanders Share Of Feelings About Guilty Verdict In George Floyd Murder Trial
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: Plan To Let CA Politicians See Names On Recall Petitions Won't Move Forward
A skinned otter was found in September. Three otters were shot to death in August 2016.