The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society is offering a $1,500 reward for information leading to the conviction of someone who shot and killed a Bottlenose dolphin.
The animal was found over the weekend on Elmer’s Island Wildlife Refuge in Louisiana with a bullet hole just behind its blowhole. The bullet was later discovered in its lung.
“We are pleased that we can offer this reward in support of NOAA’s ongoing investigation and as a reflection of our commitment to protect dolphins in the Gulf Region,” said Courtney Vail, campaigns manager for WDCS. “These dolphins continue to face impacts from the Gulf oil spill, fishing gear entanglements and habitat loss. It is extremely disturbing that they are also subjected to brutal attacks and vandalism from the public. This is not the first time dolphins have been killed or wounded by gun shot, and those responsible must be brought to justice.”
If that’s not disturbing enough, Mark Kinsey – enforcement supervisor for Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi – says he discovered a dolphin earlier this summer that had been stabbed in the head with a screwdriver.
Seriously, WTF is wrong with these people? From the article:
“The stabbed animal’s body was found June 22 near Dupont Point, Ala., and had been reported swimming in Perdido Bay near the Alabama-Florida state line for days before that, Amendola said. Investigators don’t have a single good lead in spite of a $3,500 reward from the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, Amendola said.”
People can apparently get close to dolphins down south because the animals are used to being fed; despite a ban on the practice since 1993. Past offenses have included idiots throwing pipe bombs at dolphin pods, as well as charter boat captains shooting the animals because of their tendency to prey on hooked fish.
“Their own clients turned them in,” NOAA Fisheries spokeswoman Kim Amendola told the AP.