Federal fisheries officials now say the six sea lions found dead in traps on the Columbia River apparently were not shot to death.
Spokesman Brian Gorman of the National Marine Fisheries Service said Wednesday that preliminary results of a necropsy found no evidence of recent gunshot wounds but found numerous shallow puncture wounds in one animal consistent with sea lion bite marks.
Gorman says X-rays found metal fragments in soft tissue near the neck of two animals.
He says a metal slug was found in the blubber of one animal, but neither the fragments nor the slug appear to be fatal and may have been from old wounds.
The agency is still trying to determine how the animals died near the Bonneville Dam.