US

Man is jailed for shooting a protected elephant seal dead

Thug who shot dead protected elephant seal on California beach is sentenced to three months in prison

  • Jordan Gerbich, 30, pleaded guilty to illegally taking a marine mammal 
  • He shot the elephant seal in the head using a .45-caliber pistol last year 
  •  He was sentenced to three months in prison and a year of supervised release

A man has been jailed for shooting dead a protected elephant seal on the central California coast. 

Jordan Gerbich, 30, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of illegally taking a marine mammal. 

He was sentenced to three months in federal prison, a year of supervised release, three months of home detention and 120 hours of community service. 

Jordan Gerbich, 30, (pictured) pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of illegally taking a marine mammal

Gerbich, who is formerly from California but now lives in Utah, was also ordered to pay a $1,000 fine, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Gerbich killed the marine mammal in September 2019 at an elephant seal viewing area near the Piedras Blancas State Marine Reserve in San Simeon. 

A court document stated that Gerbich had purposefully traveled to the area at night and killed the animal ‘as a kind of grotesque test’ on the demand of his intoxicated friend, NBC reported. 

He used a .45-caliber pistol to shoot the seal. Its body was found the next day with a bullet to the head. 

The seal was also found with its tail fins cut off and cut open, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 

Northern elephant seals are a protected species under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (File image)

Northern elephant seals are a protected species under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (File image) 

The prosecution sentencing memorandum said the motive remained unclear but Gerbich knew that his actions were wrong.  

The 30-year-old pleaded guilty last December to one count of illegally taking a marine mammal. 

Northern elephant seals are a protected species under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.  

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