Wednesday, March 31, 2010


This is Lionel, a sea lion so named and adopted by some local area school children (but not at my school). 
Lionel was "put down" for the serious crime of eating some salmon... which is his job in our world... that commercial and sport firsherfolk believe belongs to them.  As if  having to outrun Orcas isn't enough of an ordeal for a sea lion.

He committed his crime right here where I live just below the dam.  You see when the sportfisherfolk and the commercial fisherfolk fished out his area of the ocean... Lionel and his relatives got hungry enough to search the Columbia River this far up... which had never happened before a few  years ago...for food and found a bounty of it at the fish ladders to the dam. 

Of course he could not have done that if the dam was not there... and the fish ladders would not have been needed if the dam was not there.  People put the fish ladder and dam there, not Lionel, but he was smart enough to figure out that  this was the mother lode of salmon munchies.

Here is his story and another one as well...

Yes, I know... DH hunts Bambi and he'd blow Thumper off the trail too.


No one is going to eat Lionel.  They just wanted him not to be able to eat what they consider their fish, not his.
Besides... think of all those little school children who adopted him, tried to save him and then learned they couldn't change a thing. 
I'm glad I wasn't there at that school the day they killed Lionel and started passing out the tissues.

Do tell... what do you think about it?

Have a wonderful Hump Day!  Yay! 


  1. i think it stinks for the reasons you listed. and we are a family of hunters too who eat what we take. poor lionel, he was just responding to the dinner bell and buffet that was set for him.

  2. How sad, really. Apparently somebody feels that they can stop nature. Lionel was only doing what his kind spent hundreds of thousands of years evolving doing to survive...following the food.

    "If all of the insects of the world were suddenly eradicated, within 50 years, all life would cease. If all of the humans of the world were eradicated, within 50 years, all life would flourish" --Sir Ken Robinson

  3. I eat meat, and I know hunters. Big difference between that and just killing something for being somewhere you don't want it to be. They couldn't relocate Lionel some way? Lazy bastards.

  4. Now he worships at an altar of a stagnant pool
    And when he sees his reflection he's fulfilled.
    Oh, man is opposed to fair play
    He wants it all and he wants it his way
    Now there's a woman on my block
    She just sits there as the night grows still
    And says who is going to take away his license to kill?

    - Bob Dylan License To Kill

  5. AlienCG-- I love that quote! Thank you... and it is so perfect for this situation. We are such vain creatures to think our "wants" are "rights".

  6. Suldog-- Lazy bastards indeed! They say that if they take them away that they will simply swim back so its futile. I say so what? With all the barges that go up and down this river... with all the equipment that the hatcheries have (including various kinds of water tank trucks to transport huge stergeons) that they can remove them over and over if they want. They also have big ponds that are not always in use where the sea lions could be held (and tourists can look at them) until re-transport day. Shoot... they could probably make money off of them.

  7. Cricket-- So apt. Bob has something wise to say about so many things. Thanks for this one.

  8. I have no problem with people hunting. It's better than animals being raised in feedlots or little cages for our consumption. But it's wrong to kill an animal to keep it from doing its own fishing.

    I used to work on the Salmon Restoration project in northern Cali. Sadly, I think it's a losing battle.

  9. Churlita-- I know what you mean. I have worked in the salmon here... clipping and tagging baby ones. I called myself a fishpoke (you actually do poke a tiny chip into their tiny snouts!) or roe wrangler (you rope the icky ones and cull them from the herd).

    Sadly, the troubles of the salmon are man created and we are too selfish to make the right alterations.

  10. That's really a shame - we humans are so arrogant about our "rights" and so cavalier about the rights of other inhabitants of this world.

  11. lionel was keeping the salmon gene pool strong by culling the weak salmon.

  12. secret agent woman-- I grew up in California where there were always sea lions. I thought of them as giant, funny, slime-less dock and rock slugs.

    When they showed up at my dam, I was thrilled. Part of my childhood had come to see me. But I don't like this price of seeing them.

  13. billy pilgrim-- I am sure that you are right. And we wonder why they are not thriving. Amazing that they have not installed an escalator for the weaker salmon.

  14. People get like that when it comes to their livelihood. Poor Lionel was doing what comes instinctively, just as coyotes who kill cattle and sheep on ranches do. Many, many animals are killed for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. It sucks.

  15. As I keep telling people, it's not like they can go to a 7-11 and buy their food. People. Honestly. It's why I'm a vegetarian.
    RIP, Lionel.

  16. laura b.-- You are right and it is about livelyhood in part. I know many of our Native Americans who live off the fish. They do what they can to replinish the supply with their own hatcheries. As for the sport fisherfolk... well we have lots of types of fish here to fish. I don't get why they don't ban fishing them for sport.

    Yeah... it does suck. I like those fat fellows!

  17. Peggy-- Good point. Its not just the commercial fisherfolk who need the salmon. They are the sea lions livelyhood as well.

  18. I'd eat the neighbors dog if I was hungry, everything is part of the food chain.

  19. Billy-- Yeah it is as long as someone or something will eat it.