POINT REYES STATION — A California sea lion was recently found dead with several gunshot wounds on a beach at Point Reyes National Seashore.

The spokesman for the national park said a visitor found the male sea lion more than a week ago and took a photo which showed the gunshot wounds.

A winter storm prevented marine biologists from getting to the carcass until Nov. 30.

The Marin Independent Journal reports the sea lion has been tracked by the National Marine Fisheries Service ever since it was born seven years ago on San Miguel Island.

While no one knows for certain who shot the animal or why they shot it, marine mammal officials have suspected the culprits are sometimes fishermen who find the sea lions to be nuisances that compete for fish.