Man decapitated sea lion near Parksville to take skull, rowed away on homemade raft: witnesses

Man decapitated sea lion near Parksville to take skull, rowed away on homemade raft: witnesses
He was using sticks to hack away at it, said Eely. Without any tools, he decided to start beating up on this thing for the better part of the day... he was trying to get the head off this thing with sticks and a board.

Eely said the smell from the dead animal was overpowering.

Everybody smelled it, and he kept on hacking away and every now and then he would go into the water to clean himself because it was grotesque, he said.

It was just sad, said Eely.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada tells CTV News that it is not illegal to take the skull from a dead marine mammal, but it is illegal if you kill the animal first.

It was dead prior, three or four days," said Eely. "It was bloated."

Several headless sea lions and seals have been found on shores between Nanaimo and Campbell River recently.

A spokesperson with Fisheries and Oceans Canada said in some cases where human interaction is deemed to be the cause of death, a fisheries officer will attend the site to gather more evidence.

In these specific cases no further investigation was warranted, said the spokesperson.

RCMP in Nanaimo and Parksville said this type of incident would be handed over to the fisheries department and they would assist in any way they could.

It was unbelievable," said Young Olson. "We had no idea why he was doing that.

Anyone who witnesses suspicious activity with marine mammals is being asked to contact Fisheries and Oceans Canada immediately at 1-800-465-4336.
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