An investigation by NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement is investigating a case involving a pregnant bottlenose dolphin found dead on the beach in Waveland, Mississippi.
After a necropsy was performed, it revealed the pregnant dolphin died of a gunshot wound with the unborn calf dying as result of the mother’s death.
NOAA is seeking information from anyone who may have details regarding the incident and Lightkeepers, The Humane Society of the United States, CetLaw, Ocean Experience, the Animal Welfare Institute and Dolphins Plus Marine Mammal Responder are offering up to an $11,500 reward for information leading to the successful identification and/or prosecution of those responsible.
The dolphin was originally found by the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies (IMMS) on April 30th and placed the marine mammal in their freezer until a thorough necropsy could be conducted. At that time, a bullet was found to be the cause of death as in punctured the dolphins lung.
The numbers of violent incidents toward dolphins in the Northern Gulf have increased in recent years. Since 2002, at least 24 dolphins (including this one), have stranded with evidence of being shot by guns or arrows, or impaled with objects. Sixty-eight percent of those strandings have occurred since 2010.
Harassing, harming, killing or feeding wild dolphins is prohibited under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972. Violations may be prosecuted either civilly or criminally and are punishable by up to $100,000 in fines and up to 1 year in jail per violation.
If you do have any information regarding the case you can call the NOAA Enforcement Hotline at 1-800-853-1964 or the Slidell, LA, Enforcement Field Office at 985-643-6232. Tips may be left anonymously.
NOAA officials seek information from anyone who may have details about this incident. Please call the NOAA Enforcement Hotline at 1-800-853-1964 or the Slidell, LA, Enforcement Field Office at 985-643-6232. Tips may be left anonymously.