Young Dolphin Murdered on Louisiana Beach, Authorities Hunt for Shooter

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On a quiet beach in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, a somber discovery was made. A juvenile bottlenose dolphin was found deceased, ABC7 News reports, its body marred by multiple gunshot wounds, a shocking act of violence against marine wildlife.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) swiftly responded to this distressing report.

A juvenile dolphin was found shot dead in Louisiana.
Photo: Pexels
A juvenile dolphin was found shot dead in Louisiana.

Investigation and Necropsy Findings

The stranding was initially reported by a concerned citizen to the Southeast Marine Mammal Stranding Hotline. NOAA’s stranding network partner, Audubon Aquarium Rescue, retrieved the dolphin and conducted a necropsy at the Audubon Nature Institute, reports NOAA.

The autopsy revealed bullets lodged in critical areas: the brain, spinal cord, and heart, indicating the dolphin died from these injuries at or near the time of death.

Multiple bullets were found in the dolphin's brain, spinal cord, and heart.
Photo: Pexels
Multiple bullets were found in the dolphin’s brain, spinal cord, and heart.

Legal Protections and Consequences

This incident has raised serious concerns about wildlife crimes and the protections afforded to marine mammals. According to WTRF, harassing, harming, killing, or feeding wild dolphins is strictly prohibited under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Violators can face severe penalties, including fines up to $100,000 and one year in jail per violation.

Public Response and Reward Offer

In response to this malicious act, NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement is rigorously investigating the case and has offered a reward of up to $20,000 for information leading to a criminal conviction or the assessment of a civil penalty, reports HuffPost. This substantial reward underscores the severity of the incident and the agency’s commitment to bringing the perpetrator to justice.

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NOAA offers a $20,000 reward for information leading to a conviction.
Photo: Pexels
NOAA offers a $20,000 reward for information leading to a conviction.

Conclusion: A Call for Information

The tragic death of this dolphin is not just a loss of wildlife but a poignant reminder of the need for vigilant protection of our marine ecosystems. NOAA continues to encourage the public to report any stranded or injured marine animals and to provide any information that may lead to the identification and prosecution of those responsible for such heinous acts.

Click below and help us take action for dolphins.

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