$20,000 Reward Offered for Tips on Louisiana Dolphin Shooting Investigation

Cameron Parish, Louisiana – A tragic discovery on West Mae’s Beach in Cameron Parish has left investigators offering a substantial reward for information. A young bottlenose dolphin was found with multiple gunshot wounds, prompting outrage and a call for justice in the community. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries department has taken the lead in investigating the disturbing incident. The mammal was swiftly sent for a necropsy, commonly known as an animal autopsy, at the Audubon Nature Institute in New Orleans.

According to the NOAA, the necropsy revealed multiple bullets lodged in the dolphin’s carcass, including in critical areas such as the brain, spinal cord, and heart. The injuries were severe, indicating that the trauma occurred at or near the time of death. This heartbreaking news has sparked concerns over the well-being and protection of bottlenose dolphins, which are federally protected animals under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

The NOAA’s law enforcement division is now actively pursuing any leads that may lead to a conviction in this case. With a reward of up to $20,000 on the table, individuals who provide information that results in a conviction could face significant fines and prison time. The agency emphasizes that harming or harassing protected marine mammals like bottlenose dolphins is strictly prohibited and punishable by law.

This harrowing incident is not the first of its kind, as similar cases of violence against dolphins have been reported in the past. In 2020, the NOAA investigated the deaths of two dolphins in Florida that had been shot and stabbed, highlighting a disturbing pattern of cruelty towards these intelligent creatures. Additionally, a recent case in Texas involved the harassment and eventual death of a dolphin by multiple individuals.

As authorities continue their investigation in Louisiana, the public is urged to come forward with any relevant information by contacting the NOAA Enforcement Hotline at (800) 853-1964. The senseless killing of this innocent dolphin serves as a stark reminder of the importance of wildlife protection and the consequences of violating laws put in place to safeguard our marine ecosystem.