Sea otter shot to death in Morro Bay

The state Department of Fish and Game is investigating the shooting of a sea otter that was found dead Thursday in Morro Bay.

A young female sea otter was found just north of the Morro Strand Campground. A necropsy conducted on the animal indicated it was killed by a shot to the head by a pellet gun between 9 a.m. and noon.

Wildlife officials are hoping to talk to any witnesses or others with information about the incident. Reports can be anonymous.

Warden Hank Hodel, who is investigating the incident, can be reached at 610-3920. Calls can also be made to the agency’s tip line at 1 (888) DFG-CALTIP.

California sea otters are protected by state and federal law as a federally listed endangered species and a marine mammal. Anyone convicted of the crime faces fines of up to $10,000.

-David Sneed