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Steller sea lion dies in freak accident

May 5, 2015

SALEM, Ore. – A Steller sea lion died when it became entangled between two traps at Bonneville Dam.

There were no witnesses to the incident, which occurred sometime Monday night. Biologists believe the animal hauled out between the two cage traps onto a narrow area where the wooden floors of each trap extended beyond the cages, coming together to create a makeshift platform. It appears that as the animal tried to back out of the narrow area, it became entangled in the tethering cables holding the traps together. Once entangled, it appears the sea lion flipped over to reach the water, but couldn’t break free of the cables. A veterinarian on site determined the animal drowned and complete a necropsy on the animal will be performed.

“This is a very unfortunate incident, no one would have predicted this could have happen,” said Rick Hargrave, ODFW spokesman. “Our focus now is to prevent this from happening again.”

Trapping operations at Bonneville Dam have been suspended while ODFW consults with NOAA. In the meantime, cage trap doors will be closed and locked, and a temporary barricade will be installed between the two cage traps to prevent access.




Richard Hargrave (503) 947-6020
Jessica Sall (503) 947-6023

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