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Two sea lions euthanized since inception of recent Columbia River control plan

March 13, 2009 |  5:41 pm

A California sea lion caught and awaiting relocation during a 2007 effort to reduce the mammal population below Bonneville Dam.

Two California sea lions that were recently trapped as part of an effort to protect endangered fish populations have been euthanized.

Both mammals tested positive for a potentially contagious viral disease and had to be put down instead of transferred to an aquarium as previously planned.

"Our primary goal is to place healthy animals in the approved facilities that have asked to receive them," said Rick Hargrave, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman. "These animals had an infectious disease that was potentially contagious and could not be placed in a zoo or aquarium without endangering other animals."

The actions are part of an effort, previously reported in Outposts, to control sea lion populations that have been documented preying on chinook and steelhead below Bonneville Dam.

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: A California sea lion caught and awaiting relocation during a 2007 effort to reduce the mammal population below Bonneville Dam. Credit: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

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