Police hunt for baby sea lion snatched from LA beach

2015-04-21 10:33

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Los Angeles - Police were searching on Monday for a baby sea lion snatched from a Los Angeles beach over the weekend, as well as four suspects in their twenties seen harassing and taunting two pups, authorities said.

A record 2 250 sea lions, mostly pups, have washed up starving and stranded on Southern California beaches so far this year, a worsening phenomenon blamed on warming seas in the region that have disrupted the marine mammals' food supply.

The Los Angeles Police Department was notified early on Sunday that a baby sea lion had been taken from Dockweiler State Beach, next to LA International Airport. Officers on the scene spoke to a witness who saw two men and two women "harassing and taunting" two pups, illegal under federal law.

The suspects were seen taking one baby sea lion, getting into a dark Honda Civic, and leaving the area, police said.

The second pup was found hiding near a bike path in the bushes by an official with Marine Animal Rescue, a non-profit group that helps stranded sea animals back to the ocean and who responded to the incident at police request, the Los Angeles Times newspaper reported.

Read more on:    us  |  marine life

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