Featured Image: The Epoch Times
In May, a dolphin was found dead in the waters near the upper Captiva Island. The body of the dolphin had been badly battered but spear marks were easily identified. Under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, it is illegal to harass a dolphin and harming the animal in any way is expressly forbidden.
The dolphin has a six inch gash near its eye that had clotted blood. The body was taken in for a necropsy to try to discern the extent of its injuries. The results showed that the dolphin was impaled in its head with a spear or a spearlike object.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, at least 26 dolphins have been victims of violence in the Gulf of Mexico since 2002. Most of these dolphins were impaled in some way or shot by a gun. This particular dolphin was last seen swimming around fishing boats begging for food scraps. Unfortunately, when dolphins are fed by humans their behaviors change for the worse. For this reason, it is illegal to feed wild dolphins.
If you have any information about the details surrounding the death of this dolphin, please report it to NOAA. There is a $38,000 reward for information that leads to the capture of the perpetrator. You can call the NOAA enforcement hotline at 1-800-853-1964.