Another dead sea lion in Puget Sound area

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SEATTLE (AP) -- A NOAA enforcement agent says another dead sea lion has been found in south Puget Sound but it's unclear whether it had been shot.

Bill Giles says the animal was discovered Saturday. A necropsy set Tuesday will determine cause of death.

Giles says since mid-December several sea lions and a harbor seal have turned up dead in the Puget Sound area. Some had been shot.

NOAA Fisheries Service spokesman Brian Gorman said Monday that three California sea lions have been confirmed shot. X-rays are scheduled Friday on others. Gorman says the animals washed up dead in West Seattle and around the south Puget Sound but that doesn't necessarily mean they died or were shot there.

Federal officials are investigating the deaths because the animals are protected by federal law.