Gunshot Dolphin Found Dead on Louisiana Beach, $20,000 Reward Offered for Information

Cameron Parish, Louisiana – A disturbing incident occurred when a young bottlenose dolphin was found dead on West Mae’s Beach with multiple gunshot wounds. The discovery of the dolphin with bullets lodged in its brain, spinal cord, and heart has prompted investigators to offer a reward of up to $20,000 for information leading to the culprit.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries department has taken the lead in investigating this tragic event. The mammal underwent a necropsy at the Audubon Nature Institute in New Orleans to determine the cause of death. The findings pointed towards the trauma inflicted by the gunshot wounds, leading to the inevitable demise of the dolphin.

Bottlenose dolphins hold protected status, and it is illegal to feed or harass them in the wild. The potential criminal conviction under the Marine Mammal Protection Act poses serious consequences for those responsible for this heinous act. With the perpetrator facing a fine of up to $100,000 and a one-year prison sentence, the investigation aims to bring justice for the senseless killing of an innocent marine creature.

While the NOAA lists various threats to dolphins such as vessel strikes and toxins in the water, shootings are not typically encountered. However, recent incidents of dolphins being shot or harassed to death highlight the need for stricter enforcement of protection laws. The callous nature of these acts raises concerns about the welfare of marine animals and the importance of conservation efforts to safeguard these vulnerable species.

In a similar case in Florida in 2020, the NOAA investigated the deaths of dolphins that had been shot and stabbed, shedding light on the escalating dangers faced by marine wildlife. The incidence of dolphins being harmed by human interference underscores the urgent need for stricter penalties and increased vigilance to prevent such atrocities from reoccurring.

Anyone with information regarding the tragic death of the dolphin in Louisiana is urged to contact the NOAA Enforcement Hotline at (800) 853-1964. As efforts continue to identify and apprehend the culprit, the case serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing threats faced by marine mammals and the pressing need for enhanced conservation measures to protect these beloved creatures.