Two dolphins were shot and stabbed in Florida: Officials offer a reward of $ 20,000 to catch a suspect
Two dolphins are shot and stabbed in Florida: Officials offer a reward of $ 20,000 to catch a suspect
- The first was found dead off the coast of Naples with a bullet in his face
- Another washed up at Pensacola Beach last week with a bullet in the left
- Since 2002 at least 29 dolphins have been attacked with guns, arrows or spears
A $ 20,000 reward is offered after two wild dolphins were found dead with bullet and stab wounds in Florida.
The first was found off the coast of Naples last week with a bullet wound in his face.
It also had wounds from “a sharp object,” said biologists from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
The second was found with a bullet in its left side along Pensacola beach, 600 miles away, by experts from the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge.
At least 29 dolphins have been stranded with evidence that they have been shot by guns or arrows or have been impaled since 2002 with objects such as fish spears in the southeastern US.
Last week a dolphin was found off the coast of Naples by biologists from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission with a bullet wound
A second dolphin was found with a bullet in its left side along Pensacola beach by experts from the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge
Four incidents occurred in the past year and one was found dead with a fatal puncture in his head in May last year.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said it offered a reward “for information leading to civil punishment or criminal conviction of the person or persons responsible” for death.
Biologists believe that these cases can come from people feeding wild dolphins because the animals learn to associate people and boats with food that can put them in harmful situations.
Dolphins can suffer fatal consequences from boat strikes, entanglement or ingestion of fishing gear and intentional damage such as this.
A NOAA spokesperson said, “You can prevent damage to wild dolphins by not feeding them or trying to feed them.”
Harassing, hunting, killing or feeding wild dolphins is prohibited under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
Violations can be civil or criminal prosecution and can be punished with up to $ 100,000 in fines and up to one year in prison per violation.
The NOAA says it continues to enforce these prohibitions and last month a Kansas man was fined $ 1,250 for feeding a dolphin while on vacation in Florida.