NAPLES, Fla. (WWSB) - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is offering a $20,000 reward to anyone who has any information on the person or people who are responsible deaths of two Florida dolphins.
Reports say that biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission a dead dolphin nearby Naples, Fla. late last week. The animal was fatally wounded from what biologists say appeared to be a bullet and/or a sharp object.
Within the same week, experts with the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge say that they recovered a dolphin with a bullet in its left side along Pensacola Beach, Fla. Also, in May 2019 a dolphin was found dead close to Captiva Island, Fla. with a fatal puncture wound to its head.
Biologists say that they believe that these cases may come from people feeding the dolphins and dolphins that are fed by people learn to associate people and boats with food which can put them in harmful situations.
Harrassing, hunting, killing or feeding wild dolphins or even attempting to do these things is prohibited under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 and violations can be prosecuted either civilly or criminally and are punishable by up to $100,000 in fines and up to one year in jail per violation.
Anyone with any information about these incidents should call NOAA at 1-800-853-1964 and tips can be left anonymously.