Who would shoot a dolphin in the face with a gun or a spear in the Gulf of Mexico, yet some cruel person did! The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission found a dead dolphin late last week off the coast of Naples shot.
A $20,000 reward leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for killing the dolphin has been offered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). According to Dolphin Angels, the FWC discovered a dolphin last week off the Panhandle that had been shot in the side of his face.
“FWRI biologists from our Southwest field office performed the necropsy of a dead dolphin off Naples, Fla., late last week. The animal was fatally wounded from what appeared to be a bullet and/or a sharp object. Within the same week, Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge experts recovered a dolphin with a bullet in its left side along Pensacola Beach, Fla. Another dolphin with a fatal puncture wound to its head, was found dead off Captiva Island, Fla, in May 2019. That investigation is ongoing and also offers a reward for information.”
The dolphins are popular in Florida and tourists frequently feed the animals which obviously led to dire consequences. The deceased dolphin was found in the “begging posture.” Sadly, dolphins have learned to associate food with humans and often follow boats expecting and begging for food.
If you see a stranded dolphin – Don’t Push Them Back or Attempt to Disentangle! The best way to help marine life in trouble is to call trained responders. Call FWC’s Wildlife Alert at 1-888-404-3922 to report stranded, injured or dead marine mammals.
Officials are seeking information from anyone who may have details about these incidents. Please call the NOAA Enforcement Hotline at 1-800-853-1964. Tips may be left anonymously.
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