PORTLAND, Ore. — Last week, KGW reported on video captured on the Columbia River near Hayden Island that showed a boater deliberately veering toward groups of sea lions, seemingly trying to hit or harass the creatures.
Many people were outraged at the video, though the boater also had their share of defenders.
That dichotomy mirrors the pinnipeds' legal status. Sea lions are federally protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act— making it illegal to harass, hunt or kill any marine mammals. But at the same time, Oregon wildlife officials have used exceptions in the law to kill hundreds of sea lions over the past few years.