Reward in killing of sea otters in Northern California

Federal and state authorities have offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who shot and killed three southern sea otters during the last month.

The three male otters were found dead between the Santa Cruz Harbor and Seacliff State Beach in Aptos earlier this month, but initial necropsy results showed the otters were shot and died several days to several weeks before washing ashore.

Southern sea otters are protected as a threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act. They are also protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act and by California state law. Killing a southern sea otter is punishable by up to $100,000 in fines and a possible jail sentence.

Anyone with information was asked to call the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.