Saturday, 29 September 2012

Dolphin shot in Louisiana

Dead dolphin found in Louisiana died from bullet lodged in animal's lung
September 2012. Marine law enforcement staff (NOAA) and US marine mammal experts received a report a bottlenose dolphin that had been found dead on Elmer's Island in Louisiana. A necropsy revealed the dolphin died of a gunshot wound; the dolphin had been shot on the right side just behind the blowhole, probably with a small calibre firearm. The bullet was discovered lodged in the dolphin's lung. 

Not the first time a dolphin has been shot
In June 2006, Don G. Walker, the Captain of a fishing boat in Alabama, pleaded guilty to shooting of a dolphin in the Gulf of Mexico.

Members of a fishing party complained to officials that Don Walker had shot at a dolphin that was attempting to eat a fish off a fishing line. A member of the party took a picture of a bullet spraying the water near the dolphin.

Don Walker pleaded guilty and was sentenced to one year probation and ordered to pay $1,000.00 fine. In addition, he was required to make a $1,000.00 contribution to the Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Florida for the development of a public service announcement reminding others of the consequences of harassing bottlenose dolphins.

Reward offered
The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS) is offering a $1,500 reward for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the illegal and cruel acts that led to the death of a protected bottlenose dolphin.
NOAA officials seek information from anyone who may have details of this incident. Please call the NOAA Enforcement Hotline as soon as possible at 1-800-853-1964. Tips may be left anonymously.
Harassing, harming, killing or feeding wild dolphins is prohibited under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972. 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.

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