WAVELAND, MS (WCMH) — A reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of the person responsible for shooting a pregnant dolphin and her unborn calf to death in April.
According to NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement, the dolphin was found on April 30. A necropsy revealed a small caliber bullet lodged in the dolphin’s lung.
Lightkeepers, The Humane Society of the United States, CetLaw, Ocean Experience, the Animal Welfare Institute and Dolphins Plus Marine Mammal Responder are offering a combined reward of $11,500 for information leading to the successful identification and/or prosecution of the person(s) responsible.
NOAA said that since 2002, at least 24 dolphins have stranded with evidence of being shot by guns or arrows or impaled with objects. Sixty-eight percent of those incidents have happened since 2010.
Harassing, harming, killing or feeding wild dolphins is prohibited under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972. Violations may be prosecuted either civilly or criminally and are punishable by up to $100,000 in fines and up to 1 year in jail per violation.