12 Jun '12, 9pm
Sea Lions Aren’t the Dam Problem on the Columbia River! Commentary by Sandy McElhaney
Sea Lions in Astoria, Oregon. Photo: Kimber Hamilton Recognizing that the real problem on the Columbia River has nothing to do with sea lions, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society began its Dam Guardian program in April. Volunteer Dam Guardians have been on the banks of the Columbia near the Bonneville Dam and also at the Port of Astoria. We have witnessed acts of cruelty that would be considered criminal offenses anywhere in the United States but here. We have observed animals being kicked and poked with sticks. We have repeatedly seen smoke wafting from a cage as a hot iron is pressed into the flesh of previously unblemished animals. These sea lions are further violated with tracking devices and tags that pierce their flippers. Tragically, we have seen sea lions trapped in cages and dragged to a boathouse where death awaits.