He had a name, Oregon DFW.


One sea lion was trapped and euthanized at Bonneville Dam today.

So begins the April 16 entry on the website of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, logging the taking of the life of a sentient, self-determining, individual member of this planet: a sea lion who lived in harmony with his surroundings and as he was designed.

C022 was the scar that identified him.  A searing and burning of flesh that ODFW justifies: “branding”.  Because the ODFW’s branding is a horrifying, aggressive and unimaginably painful act nearly incomprehensible to the human mind, and an offense to all that is sacred, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Dam Guardians thought to counter that offense and to reclaim some measure of dignity by naming him.

One sea lion was trapped and euthanized at Bonneville Dam today.

As if the “oneness”, the singularity, of that taking of a life made that act of killing less egregious.

One sea lion was trapped and euthanized at Bonneville Dam today.

As if the “euthanizing” makes the unjust taking of a life more palatable.

The tragedy of the Bonneville Dam goes beyond the death of Brian, as he was named by Steve Jack from Scotland, and beyond the blood and branding and flares and bullets and census-taking visited upon the innocent ones.  The blood of the tragedy runs over and first stains, then takes, all innocence.  The stain reveals – as if under a black light on some TV cop show – our collective failure to hold to account those who bear the full responsibility for the decline of the salmon and for the easy scapegoating of innocent creatures while the guilty continue business as usual.

One sea lion was trapped and euthanized at Bonneville Dam today.

While he had his own name, we have lost, along with our innocence, our ability to know it.  Instead, we brand. We build dams.  We build industries that shed their waste into and poison our waterways.  We take more than we consume in order to stash away more than our share.  We euthanize.  We allow all this to happen as if the damming, the poisoning, the robbing from nature were normal.

One sea lion was trapped and euthanized at Bonneville Dam today.

One day, we will wake up, and take back what is left from what the hoarders have stolen.  We will take back our innocence and our responsibility for this planet.  And we will know his name, which was written in the stars before we knew him.

One sea lion was trapped and euthanized at Bonneville Dam today.

To honor him and reclaim your responsibility, first take a deep breath and picture the sea lions being restored to their rightful place as sovereigns on the Columbia River.  Then contact the Governors of Oregon and Washington:

  • Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber: (503) 378-4582
  • Washington Governor Jay Inslee: (360) 902-4111

Tell them that you are calling about Brian, branded C022, the sea lion killed on April 16, 2013, at the Bonneville Dam, and that you know that the sea lions are not the real problems on the Columbia River and demand an immediate end to the senseless and unjust harassment and killing of the Columbia River Sea Lions.  Demand the release of Brian’s necropsy, as called for by the Sea Shepherd Dam Guardians.

Add your voice to support the efforts of the Sea Shepherd Dam Guardians who are present every day to document the senseless, desperate and irresponsible acts of violence against the Columbia River Sea Lions.

In his honor. To remember him. Brian.

Brian the Lion was trapped and euthanized at Bonneville Dam today.




8 responses to “He had a name, Oregon DFW.

  1. At once beautiful and very powerful . THANK YOU MARTHA !

  2. He wasn’t euthanized, he was killed. Euthanasia is for animals who are suffering irremediably – Brian was healthy and happy. He was killed 🙁

  3. Killed for eating fish?I presume that would be the reasoning behind the slaughter of Brian.The heartless cruelty inflicted on these poor creatures for doing nothing more than what they were born to do.They haven’t stolen what doesn’t belong to them-they are in their own enviroment,they eat what their species demands.No one has the right to determine the fate of the Sea Lions other than nature.Greed & Ignorance prevails yet again.I hope the monster who administered the lethal injection to Brian will one day wake up to the fact he killed an innocent creature and forever may his nights be haunted.RIP Brian-your death will not be in vain.

  4. Barbara Lovett

    I cry, and then I become enraged! Murdered for eating what is natural is akin to a child being murdered for drinking milk. This MUST STOP! I have shared this atrocity of my FB page and will continue the phone calls and emails to voice my rage. Thanks, Mo!

  5. Dam Guardians? who are they guarding? certainly not the seals

  6. This is very moving. Thank you so much Martha! It even brought me to tears. This is yet another horror that needs to stop!!

    • It was a horrid day. And now, they are watching while Hope seems to barely make it day to day, with what appears to be a bullet wound. Truly arbitrary state policy.

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