THE MYSTERIOUS CASE OF THE “HEADLESS LION”

I went for a ride/walk out on Chestermans beach. It was overcast so I didn’t take my camera. As usual, when I don’t bring my camera Mother Nature says something like “what can I do to make Wayne shake his head cursing that he didn’t bring his camera”?

So what do I come across out on Frank island…..a dead adult female Stellar Sea Lion……….with no head! Now I’m not a expert but I think those things usually come with heads. Someone mentioned that they had seen a mother Orca and calf in the area a couple of days ago. Suggesting that the Orca may of bitten the head off. As soon as I heard that I knew that wasn’t true. Any animal whether out in the bush or water would never turn done a gourmet meal! That would be like somebody finding a wallet full of money, throwing the money away but keeping the wallet.

Coincidentally some friends came across the carcass as well. He’s a retired surgeon and his wife is a retired GP. They both examined the wounds and thought that a sharp metal instrument had been used to cut the flesh.

So this Lion must of died and simply floated ashore.Than somebody came along and took the head off for a souvenir? Now this animal looked perfectly fine to me. It wasn’t starving and my Surgeon friend said that he thought it might be pregnant? Well If anyone is going to know that kind of stuff it would be him.

So my revised theory is that it was shot. You must remember that when Harbour Seals and  Sea Lions are shot 98% of the time they are shot in the head. Thats because the only thing poking up above the water is their head! A friend suggested It most likely was shot by a commercial fisherman? They are the only ones out there that carry firearms and they also have a hatred for Lions.

When they net Herring and have their nets pursed by the boat the Lions attack on force by the dozens! They leap into the nets to gorge themselves! This pisses off the fisherman. They have “Seal Bombs” they use to frighten them away and do also shoot them. There has been vocal support to cull the Lions on the west coast.

The basic problem here is that we as a species have collectively raped the oceans for hundreds of years! When we weren’t here (that means ALL humans) there was plenty of fish to go around but now many stocks have become depleted! Take the Northern Cod on the East coast. That stock still hasn’t come back after 30 years of moratorium!  Here in Tofino the Herring fishery was stopped decades ago! All fished out.

So these poor creatures are being forced to jump into the nets for something to eat. If you could ask one of them they would say something like “We don’t want to go near those animals but they have all the fish”!

We’re like King Midas,except instead of everything turning to gold, everything we touch, dies.

43 thoughts on “THE MYSTERIOUS CASE OF THE “HEADLESS LION”

    1. I do not believe there is as much intent as there is ignorance but I agree.
      Our species is not sustainable. But no matter what…”where ever there is a beginning,there will always be an end”.

  1. How sad to see this photo Wayne – it hurts my heart. It was just as well you didn’t tote your camera along, because you and your camera are paired up to discover the beauty in the world … eagles soaring, bears playing, beautiful sunsets or a rain-glistened Chestermans Beach, but not an atrocity like this. I know this image will mess with your head for a very long time and you will remember this headless body every time you walk that section of the beach going forward, long after it has drifted far away from Tofino.

      1. You are probably right Wayne. I am not used to such a brutal sight, though a couple of months ago I came upon the remains of a Mourning Dove that had been ravaged by something, likely a hawk? The image wasn’t nice at all and I wish I hadn’t seen it. Being out in nature is nice, but not always for the faint of heart.

      2. I actually feel worse about the animals than some people to be honest with you. If I never mentioned it before, when I got out of high school, I wanted to be a veterinarian – my parents were going to pay for school, but my grades were not good in math and/or certain sciences like physical science, chemistry, classes like that. Biology and Zoology were okay. How did I think I would do if faced with an animal hit by a car or some other trauma – good thing I did not be a vet for a career.

      3. Yes, we are Wayne – your statement reminds me of that lyric “she was going to be an actress and I was gonna learn to fly” (“Taxi” by Harry Chapin).

      4. I thought you’d agree – we are from the same era like I said before with “Lovely Rita”. I think the greatest music for our generation/age group was the late 60s and all through the 70s.

    1. no.we call them “Conservation Officers” and the closest ones are 1 1/2 hours away.
      We are a remote town,so there is nobody to watch over things. Which is why people know they can get away with things like this.

  2. The decreasing amounts of fish is man’s fault for certain, and it’s an international crime of huge proportion. Perhaps it is even worse in other places due to lack of regulation or enforcement completely. I do feel some sympathy for the fisherman actually. Seals don’t seem to be an endangered species and boats, fuel etc are so expensive and the industry seems endangered. If a fisherman has no other skills, and makes no money fishing, he is hooped. Not to be contrary but just thinking out loud my friend. My cousin used talk about huge factory ships from other countries that just scraped up everything, too awful to research or think about.

    1. well I guess these are the problems surfacing because of too many years of raping the oceans! If we don’t decrease the need (meaning the population will have to be halved) than the oceans will run dry of life. The fisherman can have full wallets and we have empty oceans.
      We are the problem! No matter how nice someone is or how hard they work as a fisherman It doesn’t matter,the problem is going to come back and bite us with a vengeance!

  3. you are a protector/watcher of the nature where you are Wayne…again new to me…some humans can be so disappointing…it’s disturbing to me…take care and enjoy the sun and your beauty 😌☺️🤓☀️ Hedy

  4. I think you are correct, someone shot this poor creature and removed the evidence. There seems to be no limit to the misery humans inflict on their fellow creatures, or each other.

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