The first dead dolphin was found off the coast of Naples last week with what seemed like a bullet mark on its face, along with injuries caused by a sharp object. The second dolphin was found with a bullet in its left side along Pensacola Beach, 600 miles away.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries are on the lookout for the culprit who shot, stabbed and killed two wild dolphins off the Florida coast. According to CNN, they are offering a reward of $20,000 to anyone who can provide them with a lead. The first dead dolphin was found off the coast of Naples last week with what seemed like a bullet mark on its face, along with injuries caused by what appeared to be a sharp object. The second dolphin was found with a bullet in its left side along Pensacola Beach, 600 miles away, by experts from the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge.
Two dolphins found shot and stabbed in Florida: Officials offer $20,000 reward to catch a suspect | Daily Mail Online— BenTallmadge (@BenKTallmadge) February 12, 2020
NOAA added that around 29 dolphins have been stranded since 2002 in the southeast. These dolphins bore evidence of being shot by guns or arrows or impaled with objects such as fishing spears. There have been four incidents within the last year, where one was found dead and had a grave puncture wound to its head last year in May. The NOAA reward is "for information that leads to a civil penalty or criminal conviction of the person or persons responsible."
Biologists strongly believe that humans trying to tame wild dolphins could be the reason behind this. So, when people on the boat try to feed these dolphins, they begin to associate humans on boats to food, thus endangering themselves. In addition, the dolphins are prone to fatal injuries due to entanglement, swallowing fishing gear and even boat strikes. For one person's entertainment, they are willing to put a dolphin's life in danger, reports Daily Mail.
there are millions of homeless poor people all over the world. Why not channel your energy towards helping them rather than talking about animals. Are animals more important than humans now? We have more important and pressing issues in this world than a couple of dead dolphins.— Germannigga (@Vick_legit) February 12, 2020
"You can prevent harm to wild dolphins by not feeding or attempting to feed them," said a spokesperson for NOAA. Harassing, hunting, killing or feeding wild dolphins is prohibited under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The NOAA says they actively enforce these prohibitions. A Kansas man was fined $1,250 for feeding a dolphin while in Florida on vacation last month. Violators can be prosecuted either civilly or criminally and are punishable by up to $100,000 in fines and up to one year in jail per violation.
Stop feeding dolphins if you love them, my fellow Florida fishermen. They are too trusting. They swim alongside my boat every time. Not good. Too many evil people out there.— Hans Landa (@FloridaMan99) February 12, 2020