Chlorine Attack on Sea Lions at Marine Mammal Center Spurs $2,500 Reward from PETA, Too

Sleeping ... and no, not sleeping off the chlorine fumes.
Sleeping ... and no, not sleeping off the chlorine fumes.
Photo by flickr user jjjj56cp

UPDATE NO. 2, MAY 11, 12:59 P.M.: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has matched the Orange County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals' $2,500 reward for information leading to the conviction of whoever is responsible for the Pacific Marine Mammal Center chlorine attack.

"It takes an appalling disregard for others to subject helpless, recovering sea lions to this much pain and fear on the eve of their release back to their ocean home," says PETA Senior Director Colleen O'Brien in a statement. "PETA is urging anyone with information to come forward immediately, before someone else is hurt."

UPDATE NO. 1, MAY 7, 12:33 P.M.: The Orange County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals announces via its Facebook page that it is offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the conviction of whoever is responsible for the Pacific Marine Mammal Center chlorine attack.

ORIGINAL POST, MAY 7, 6:33 A.M.: The Laguna Beach Police Department is turning to the public for help in finding the shithead(s) [my word, not theirs] who injured 17 sea lions by pouring "a large amount" of chlorine into a saltwater holding pool at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center rescue and rehabilitation facility.

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Police Sgt. Tim Kleiser pinpoints the disgusting act as having happened sometime between 8 p.m. on April 27 and 6 a.m. the following day at the center, 20612 Laguna Canyon Road.

"The pool housed 17 sea lions getting ready for release later in the week," Kleiser explained to City News Service, adding that "all 17 were injured with varying degrees of corneal burns" due to chlorine infusion.

Kleiser reported it was the first known animal assault at the center, which has been dealing with a larger than normal number of sea lions that have been found ailing along the Southern California coast. Some environmentalists point to ocean pollution and/of over-fishing as the cause, while some fishermen say it's part of the cyclical nature of the ocean ecology. [I'd ask the center's sea lions for their thoughts, but they are too busy washing the goddamn burning chlorine out of their eyes.]

If you know who did this sick-ass thing or have any information that can help detectives, call David Gensemer or Abe Ocampo at 949.497.0377. Messages can also be left on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration hotline: 800.853.1964.

Email: mcoker@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!


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