Protected Harbor Seal Found Dead of Gunshot Wound

Jay Barrett/KMXT
Federal officials are looking into the suspicious death of a protected marine mammal, which washed up on the Pasagshak beach late last week.
NOAA Fisheries investigator Michael Killary said a 300-pound female harbor seal was found dead with a wound to its head.
“It looked like a bullet wound. But we picked it up and took it back into town and had Kate Wynn, who’s a local biologist here in town do a necropsy on the seal. And it was determined it was killed from a gunshot wound to the head,” he said. “At this point we’re just trying to find out more information about it.”
Killary suspects the seal was shot over the Labor Day weekend and said the shooting could have been a failed subsistence harvest effort, or it could have been malicious in nature. He said about three marine mammals are illegally shot a year in Kodiak Island waters.
He’s asking anyone who may have seen or heard anything in the Pasagshak area give him a call at 486-3298. He said messages can be left anonymously.


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