MyBallard has obtained the preliminary results of a necropsy performed on the California sea lion that stranded itself at Golden Gardens. Blunt force trauma appears to be the reason behind the death.
The sea lion, nicknamed Golden, had a fractured sternum that was placing pressure on the heart. That caused some of the small arteries around the heart to rupture, resulting in internal bleeding. There was no evidence that the sea lion had been shot. Cascadia Research issued this statement:
There are a number of circumstances which could have caused the blunt force trauma– boat collision or another type of negative human interaction, transient orca attack, a fight with another sea lion, a fall from a rocky resting spot, etc. The external injuries, which were noted on the beach, were determined to be old wounds that had healed.
More tests are being done and those results may take several months.