Qualicum Beach resident John Beaton was jogging along the waterfront when he came across a headless sea lion.
Beaton said he found the decapitated sea lion around 1:30 p.m. on Thursday afternoon near the Beach House Cafe when he snapped the photo. He said he did the same jog on Friday around noon and the sea lion was either removed or washed away elsewhere by the tide.
Beaton said he wondered what had caused the decapitation — he said it seemed too neat for a boat propeller or and orca.
Beaton said he called the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to report the incident and the DFO will be contacting him for a formal report. He added he sent a note to the Town of Qualicum Beach.
The NEWS contacted the Town of Qualicum Beach and a town official said when a large animal is washed, the town has to bury it on the beach using a backhoe.
The town source said the town has to wait until the tides are out far enough to safely bring the backhoe down to the beach.