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Nation in Brief | WASHINGTON STATE

Whale dies after it's shot, harpooned

September 09, 2007|From Times Wire Reports

A California gray whale died after being shot with a machine gun off the western tip of Washington state and then trying to swim out to sea, officials said.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Kelly Parker said five people believed to be members of the Makah tribe shot and harpooned the whale. Coast Guard officials created a 1,000-yard safety zone around the injured whale, which was shot about a mile east of Neah Bay in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The whale had begun heading to sea in the afternoon but died in the strait.

Although the tribe has subsistence fishing rights to kill whales, preliminary information indicates the whale may have been shot illegally.

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