Someone is Killing Otters in Santa Cruz County

Authorities in Santa Cruz County are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for the fatal shootings of three or possibly four sea otters in the area. The crimes occurred between the Santa Cruz harbor and Seacliff State Beach in Aptos between Aug. 12 and 19.

"It's really hard to tell who did this," said Max Schad, a warden with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. "Without having a suspect it's difficult to tell if it's a malicious person or a fisherman who is mad or someone else. It's all just speculation."

The killings aren’t just cruel; they are a violation of both California and federal law. Killing a single California otter—which is currently listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act—is punishably by up to $100,000 in fines plus jail time.

You can read more about the investigation here.

Image Credit: Flickr User bradparrettphoto, via (CC BY-ND 2.0)