News

Dead seals on White Rock's west beach look like they were targeted

White Rock resident Lee Lewis believes that two seal corpses he found on White Rock beach on Thursday and Sunday died from multiple bullet wounds. - Contributed photo
White Rock resident Lee Lewis believes that two seal corpses he found on White Rock beach on Thursday and Sunday died from multiple bullet wounds.
— image credit: Contributed photo

White Rock resident Lee Lewis has called on White Rock RCMP and Fisheries and Oceans Canada after, days apart, finding two seal carcasses on the beach half a kilometre west of the West Beach picnic area.

Lewis said the dead leopard seals, apparently a mother and pup, had evidently received multiple gunshot wounds somewhere in the water and washed up on shore.

“I don’t think they could have been shot that far out on the water, or they would have gone to the bottom,” he said. “They were both in fairly decent condition, and the gulls hadn’t been at them – but I’m not a forensics expert.”

Lewis said his early-morning walk on the beach last Thursday was marred by the discovery of “a scene out of a horror movie.” He said the corpse of an adult seal he found on the shore bore what seemed to him to be  multiple bullet wounds.

“I immediately contacted Fisheries and Oceans to report this tragic scene of death and destruction at the hands of some disturbed individual,” he told Peace Arch News in an email Sunday.

On a walk later that morning, he found the pup, also bearing what he took to be bullet wounds, a short distance from where the adult had washed up, lodged under a tree trunk.

Concerned by the potential dangers, he contacted White Rock RCMP, who told him  Fisheries and Oceans, after investigating the initial report, had already contacted them.

White Rock RCMP spokespeople could not be reached for comment by PAN press time Monday; a Fisheries and Oceans communications advisor said she would investigate.

As well as being disturbed by what he called a “senseless” killing of wildlife, Lewis said he is concerned that someone firing a rifle that close to shore runs the risk of taking a human life as well.

“It’s just crazy,” he said. “Bullets can ricochet – skip off the water. I’m not sure how anyone could be that reckless and stupid – there could be kids and families nearby.”

Lewis, who has worked on commercial fishing boats, theorized the seals might have been targeted by commercial fishermen. It is not unknown for fishermen to shoot at seals interfering with their catch, he said, noting “sport fishermen seldom carry high-powered weapons on board their vessels.”

Lewis said he hopes to raise awareness of the public to the incidents.

“Maybe somebody will see something on a boat,” he said. “Hopefully they’ll report it and stop whoever it is doing this crap.”

 

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Fraser facing fines for delayed surgeries
 
Fraser Health gets new president
 
Surgical waits average five months in B.C.
Seven seniors flu clinics reinstated
 
Report fuels Veterans Affairs criticism
 
Final touches for new South Surrey rail bridge
Round 2 predicted to be no smoother for C-377
 
Judge tosses contempt charges against oil pipeline protesters due to GPS errors
 
Stay back from raging Chilliwack-Vedder river system

Community Events, November 2014

Add an Event


Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Nov 27 edition online now. Browse the archives.