CAST YOUR VOTE IN THE BEST OF ORLANDO READERS POLL

Thursday, July 11, 2019

There's $38K reward for tips on the person who stabbed a Florida bottlenose dolphin to death

Posted By on Thu, Jul 11, 2019 at 3:35 PM

click to enlarge ADOBE STOCK PHOTO
  • Adobe stock photo
The Humane Society of the United States, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and their agency partners are offering a combined $38,000 in reward money for information that would bring to justice whoever stabbed a bottlenose dolphin to death near Captiva Island, according to the NOAA (cw: disturbing photo at link).

“It takes a truly callous person to stab a gentle dolphin in the head,” Kate MacFall, Florida state director for the Humane Society of the United States said in a press release. “Dolphins are among the most beloved of marine animals and there is absolutely no excuse for this wanton cruelty. Hopefully this reward offering encourages anyone with information about this brutal crime to come forward.”



The National Marine Fisheries Service were alerted to the presence of a dead bottlenose dolphin around upper Captiva Island on May 24. Investigators concluded that the dolphin had been stabbed in the head with a spear-like object, likely upon surfacing the water. Results from a necropsy, or non-human autopsy, were consistent with evidence that the 6-inch wound caused the dolphin to bleed to death, according to the NOAA.

The NOAA further stated that the victimized dolphin was an adult male and was known to biologists in the area. In his last recorded sighting, the dolphin was seen swimming near fishing boats with a pod of “begging dolphins.”

The National Center for Biotechnology Information lists begging as a common learned behavior in which dolphins surface near boats, presumably hoping for scraps from the fishermen on board. Feeding dolphins is illegal, and it causes them to associate boats and fishing equipment with food. It is possible that this behavior made the dolphin vulnerable to attack.

Harassing, harming, killing or feeding wild dolphins is a federal crime under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972. Violations are punishable by up to $100,000 in fines and as much as one year in jail.

Anyone with information about this incident should call the toll-free NOAA Office of Law Enforcement hotline at 1-800-853-1964. These tips can be left anonymously.

Stay on top of Orlando news and views. Sign up for our weekly Headlines newsletter.

Tags: , , , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

July 8, 2020

View more issues

Calendar

© 2020 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation