NAPLES, Fla. (AP/WWSB) - ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — A reward for information about the recent deaths of two slain dolphins along Florida’s Gulf Coast has increased from $20,000 to $54,000.
One dolphin was discovered dead in the water off Naples last week. Officials with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said the animal was killed by a bullet, stab wounds, or possibly both.
Also last week, the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge found a dolphin with a bullet in its left side along Pensacola Beach.
Since 2002, at least 29 dolphins have stranded with evidence of being shot by guns or arrows, or impaled with objects such as fishing spears.
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.