Dolphin found shot to death on beach with bullets lodged in its brain, spinal cord and heart

Written by on April 24, 2024

Audubon Aquarium Rescue

(NEW YORK) — A juvenile bottlenose dolphin was found shot to death with bullets lodged in its brain, spinal cord and heart and now authorities are offering a handsome reward for information on who committed the gruesome act.

Authorities from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) received a report on March 13 that a juvenile bottlenose dolphin was found washed ashore on West Mae’s Beach in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, and that it had injuries consistent with being shot by a firearm.

“A member of the public reported the stranding to the Southeast Marine Mammal Stranding Hotline,” read a statement from the NOAA released on Tuesday. “NOAA’s stranding network partner, Audubon Aquarium Rescue, recovered the animal and transported it to the Audubon Nature Institute in New Orleans for a necropsy.”

The necropsy, or animal autopsy, revealed “multiple bullets lodged in the carcass, including in the brain, spinal cord, and heart of the dolphin,” according to the NOAA, and the animal appeared to have died from the trauma which occurred at, or near, the time of death.

NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement is now actively investigating the death and are asking the public for any information about who may have been involved in the death of the young dolphin with a reward of up to $20,000 for information leading to a criminal conviction or the assessment of a civil penalty.

“Harassing, harming, killing, or feeding wild dolphins is prohibited under the Marine Mammal Protection Act,” said the NOAA. “Violations can be prosecuted civilly or criminally and are punishable by up to $100,000 in fines and up to 1 year in jail per violation.”

Anyone with information about this incident should call the NOAA Enforcement Hotline at (800) 853-1964. People can leave tips anonymously but to be eligible for the reward you must include your name and contact information.

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