Multiple dolphins have been killed along the Gulf of Mexico, according to authorities, who have found their bodies with gunshot wounds, cuts, and missing jaws.
The dolphin deaths have caused the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to issue a “heads up” directive, putting officials on alert for increased human interaction with dolphins in the waters near Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, reports CBS News.
Authorities have detected cases of gunshot wounds, mutilations, and other injuries in the Gulf’s dolphins in recent months. Scientists with the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport have also responded to four dolphin strandings.
Most recently, a team went to Deer Island and discovered another dolphin dead with a portion if his jaw gone. Another was found with a 9mm bullet wound near Gautier. Moby Solangi, IMMS executive director, stated, “It went through the abdomen, into the kidneys and killed it.”
The Examiner notes that The NOAA reported a recent incident where someone stabbed a dolphin to death with a screwdriver. A dolphin was also discovered in Louisiana with its tail cut off. Solangi stated:
“Animals don’t eat each other’s tails off. We think there’s someone of some group on a rampage. They not only kill them but also mutilate them.”
Harassing, harming, killing, or feeding wild dolphins is a federal offense that can cost the person up to $100,000 and one year in jail per violation. With the number of dolphins killed recently in the Gulf, whoever is behind the attacks will receive a hefty fine and long jail sentence when they are caught and prosecuted.
Anyone with information about the Gulf dolphin killings is asked to call DMR’s Marine Patrol dispatch at 523-4134 day or night. They can also call the IMMS dolphin line at 1 (800) 767-3657 or the NOAA at 1 (800) 853-1964.
[Image two from ShutterStock]