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Woman doubles PETA’s reward to find stolen baby sea lion

A baby sea lion on Manhattan Beach in March.
A baby sea lion on Manhattan Beach in March.

The widow of actor Peter Falk contributed $5,000 to double a reward being offered by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals for information leading to the conviction of the people who stole a baby sea lion from its mother at Dockweiler State Beach, the animal-rights group announced Monday.

The donation by Shera Danese brings the total reward being offered to $10,000.

“Someone knows who was out on the beach that night, who stole the pup and who drove away, separating this vulnerable baby from his or her mother and the sea,” PETA Senior Director Martin Mersereau said. “PETA is calling on anyone with any clues about this case to contact the authorities immediately so that these cruel people can be held responsible for their crimes.”

A witness reported seeing two men and two women in their early to mid 20s throwing rocks and cinder blocks at the pup April 19 before putting it in a blanket and driving away southbound on Vista Del Mar in a black Honda Civic with a license plate ending with the number 56.

The theft is a violation of federal law, punishable by a $10,000 fine and a year in custody.

Los Angeles police said a witness reported seeing the suspects were harassing and taunting two baby sea lions before taking one.

The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, a federal agency, was investigating the theft since sea lions are federally protected.

Anyone with information about the suspects or the sea lion pup was urged to contact the NOAA at 800 853-1964 or the LAPD’s Pacific Station at (310) 482-6334. Calls can also be directed to (877) LAPD-24-7, and anonymous tips can be provided by calling Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS.

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