SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Officials say an unleashed dog attacked and killed a protected seal on a Northern California federal beach where dogs are prohibited.
A visitor at the Point Reyes National Seashore in Marin County saw the attack on the Guadalupe fur seal and called the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito.
A necropsy confirmed the cause of death was the dog attack.
The dog and the dog’s owner allegedly left the scene.
The attack is under investigation.
The Marine Mammal Center says Guadalupe fur seals were hunted to near-extinction in the 1800s and the only known breeding colony is on Guadalupe Island off the coast of Baja California.
Point Reyes spokeswoman Jennifer Stock says they are “very rarely” seen in the park north of San Francisco.
She says the skinny seal was alone and probably lost and searching for food.
Park officials are reminding visitors to keep their dogs on leash in the designated dog areas.
If you saw this incident or have any information that can help us locate the dog owner, please contact the park at 415-464-5100.