A child in Florida has confessed to killing a wild dolphin with a bow and arrow, according to federal investigators.
The disturbing case reveals that the male dolphin was shot with the arrow, though it initially survived the attack. However, it later died from an infection brought on by the fatal wounds at the hands of a child off of the Florida coast.
Police say the child has signed a written confession, stating he committed the heinous act after the dolphin washed up on shore severely wounded. The bottlenose dolphin died of an infection caused by the hunting arrow lodged into its body at least five days after being shot, the New York Daily News reports.
Even thought the arrow used to attack the dolphin has been confiscated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the identity of the child has not been revealed publicly at this time, the organization said in a statement.
Considering the culprit is a minor, the NOAA will not disclose his or her identity or the charges he or she may face for killing the dolphin. Perpetrators of crimes against wild animals face criminal charges and fines, which can be as steep as $100,000.
This is the second dolphin killed with an arrow this month. On December 6, a sub-adult male was found floating along Orange Beach in Alabama, which led authorities to offer a $24,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
Mindy Gilbert, Alabama state director for The Humane Society of the United States, along with The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust, issued a statement condemning the killing of the dolphin.
“This intelligent, social creature experienced tremendous suffering from this senseless act.”
“I cannot imagine why anybody would want to shoot a dolphin,” Orange Beach Mayor Tony Kennon told AL.com. “It’s pretty serious business… That kind of person we don’t want here. They don’t need to be anywhere obviously.”
Additionally, NOAA said that a dead pregnant dolphin washed ashore a week earlier in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Florida, as reported by the Inquisitr. The mammal had been shot with a handgun and the bullet lodged in its lung. The dolphin was scheduled to give birth in a few weeks.
The latest killing of the dolphin by a child is the 13th such case since 2010, according to NOAA.
[Image via NOAA]