Numerous decapitated sea lions were found on Vancouver Island, and some were skinned

Numerous decapitated sea lions were discovered on Vancouver Island, and some were completely skinned – experts believe humans are to blame

  • A native of Vancouver Island, Canada discovered decapitated sea lions
  • Deborah Short has found five carcasses along a path near the shoreline since April
  • Experts don’t yet know exactly what caused death, but suspect it was humans
  • The species is the Stellar sea lion that is considered a risk on the island

Decapitated sea lions wash ashore on Vancouver Island, Canada, and experts suggest humans are to blame.

A resident came across five decapitated sea lions on several occasions along the shores of Neck Point Park in Nanaimo.

Deborah Short walked the path with her dog when she came across the first carcass in April and then a few more months over the course of a few months.

“At first I thought it was a tree trunk and when I got closer I realized it was a sea lion,” said Short Vice.

“I immediately walked in that direction, only to find that the head had been cut off. I was just nauseous. ‘

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Decapitated sea lions wash ashore on Vancouver Island, Canada, and experts suggest humans are to blame.  A resident came across five decapitated sea lions on several occasions along the shores of Neck Point Park in Nanaimo

Decapitated sea lions wash ashore on Vancouver Island, Canada, and experts suggest humans are to blame. A resident came across five decapitated sea lions on several occasions along the shores of Neck Point Park in Nanaimo

After looking at photos of the dead animals, marine biologists noted that the species is a Stellar Sea Lion – nearly threatened, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Short not only witnessed headless sea lions, but in June she encountered one lying next to a skin seal.

This species of sea lion has natural predators, such as killer whales and sharks, but according to mammalian zoologist Anna Hall, “It seems more likely to be caused by humans,” as reported by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).

Since April, Short has found a total of five dead sea lions, in addition to a cleaned skull next to a body.

After looking at photos of the dead animals, marine biologists noted that the species is a near-threatened Stellar Sea Lion, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature

After looking at photos of the dead animals, marine biologists noted that the species is a near-threatened Stellar Sea Lion, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature

After looking at photos of the dead animals, marine biologists noted that the species is a Stellar Sea Lion – near threatened, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature

The decapitated sea lions wash ashore on Vancouver Island in Canada

The decapitated sea lions wash ashore on Vancouver Island in Canada

The decapitated sea lions wash ashore on Vancouver Island in Canada

Short has conducted her own research into the dead and found several proposals from First Nations groups, indigenous tribes in Canada, stating that they are allowed to harvest local sea lions because the population has gone through a boom.

However, Hall said Stellar sea lions are considered a “ risky ” population in Canada.

More than 70 percent of the entire species’ births occur on the northwestern tip of the island.

As reported by the CBC, the five headless sea lions are not the first to wash ashore.

Deborah Short walked her path with her dog when she came across the first carcass in April and then four more over the course of a few months

Deborah Short walked her path with her dog when she came across the first carcass in April and then four more over the course of a few months

Deborah Short walked her path with her dog when she came across the first carcass in April and then four more over the course of a few months

More than 70 percent of the entire species' births occur on the northwestern tip of the island

More than 70 percent of the entire species' births occur on the northwestern tip of the island

More than 70 percent of the entire species’ births occur on the northwestern tip of the island

On the island, four headless sea lions were discovered in 2013, and a year later, there were 12 shores of Quebec, CBC said.

However, the cause behind the horrific deaths has never been determined.

“It’s not the only time this has been seen, but it’s rare for such large animals to miss their heads,” said Hall.

Hall calls on government officials to perform an animal autopsy in hopes of learning more about the beheaded marine mammals.

“It is absolutely horrifying and horrifying that there is someone on this coast who thinks this is an appropriate way to act with regard to a marine mammal or any animal,” she told CTV News.

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