While walking the beach just north of Scripps, Pier Clint Rosser stumbled upon the remains of a harbor seal pup just last year. The animal appeared tied with bailing wire to boards connected like a cross.
"To me it looks like a mock crucifixion," Clint Rosser, who found the seal said.
With his phone Rosser recorded video of the scene and took still pictures in case the animal washed away with the tide.
While the ocean is full of debris that wildlife gets caught in, it seemed like something different to Rosser.
“It looked intentional to me because the wire was going around the board on both sides of the sea lion and the boards were pretty well together,” Rosser explained.
The Sea World Rescue Team sent to investigate said the death is suspicious for the same reasons.
One piece of bailing wire was around its neck, a second around its midsection.
“I was watching the sea lions at fisherman's wharf and they are the funniest things of all time. They are so fun to watch and then I came here and saw one that looked like mutilated and it was such a stark contrast,” he said.
High tide and darkness made it impossible for the rescue team to recover the remains Friday. Saturday morning investigators plan to return for another try.
According to the Sea World Rescue team, the video indicates the harbor seal has been dead for a while but not a long time.
They said they’ll have a better idea if they can retrieve the remains.