A man who badly shot an elephant’s seal on a California beach last year faces a possible jail term. Animals are among protected species under a federal law.
30-year-old Jordan Gerbich, who now lives in Utah, pleaded guilty Monday to a marine mammal count, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California said in a statement.
Prosecutors are recommending a six-month sentence, three of which can be served as domestic terms, according to a plea agreement, but carries a maximum carry of a maximum of one year in federal felony prison. A judge will determine the hearing ta hearing scheduled for April.
It is not clear in court documents why Geribach shot the animal. His federal public guard declined to comment Wednesday evening, and a phone number for Geribach could not be found.
Geribach drove into an elephant seal viewing area near San Simeon on the central coast of California with a flashlight and a .45-caliber pistol on September 28, 2019, and shot the seal as it rested on the beach .
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration stated that Seal was shot in the head with his tail fin cut. The agency offered a $ 20,000 reward for information in the murder.
After his house was searched in January, Garib accepted NOAA office law.
Northern elephant seals are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. According to NOAA, commercial hunting caused the species to go extinct around 1900, but their numbers have increased again.
They are named elephant seals because the males have an inflatable nose which they use to make loud sounds in an attempt to threaten and intimidate rivals during the breeding season.