PORTLAND An animal rights organization posted a $5,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of the person who ran over and killed a mother seal on the Washington Coast.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals announced Thursday it was offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who ran over a mother seal lying on the beach with her pup north of Ocean Park Wash., in April.

The pregnant harbor seal had come ashore to give birth on April 19. Because the seal needed to nurse on the beach, residents flagged off the area and posted signs so that on lookers would stay away.

More: Mother seal killed on Wash. beach, baby missing

But on April 20, the seal was found run over by a car or truck, its tail severed. The seal pup was missing and the mother seal had to be put down.

The beaches of southern Washington are some of the few in the northwest where cars are allowed to roam. People who run over animals are not uncommon. But locals told KGW on May 3 that they want to culprit caught too.

Oh I was so angry. Just terribly angry, said Barbara Enos. I mean this is the most beautiful place in the world and the people treat the animals so cruelly.

PETA stated Thursday that animal cruelty sometimes leads to other kinds of violence.

Study after study has confirmed that people who hurt animals often go on to hurt human beings, says PETA Director Martin Mersereau. PETA is urging anyone with information to come forward now, before another violent act is committed.

Anyone with information about the incident was asked to call the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Office of Law Enforcement at 1-800-853-1964. Callers can remain anonymous.

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