Thursday 27 February 2020

Florida: $20,000 reward offered after two dolphins found stabbed or shot dead

Officials say dolphins had what looked like bullet wounds
Dead mammals found in waters off Naples and Pensacola

Associated Press in St Petersburg

Tue 11 Feb 2020 22.32 GMTLast modified on Tue 11 Feb 2020 22.42 GMT

US federal authorities have offered a reward of up to $20,000 after two dolphins were found with gruesome and life-ending injuries along Florida’s Gulf coast in recent weeks.

According to the Florida fish and wildlife conservation commission and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, one dolphin was discovered dead in waters off Naples in south-west Florida late last week. Officials said the animal had received bullet, or 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 in the Florida Panhandle.

Experts believe the two deaths might have stemmed from humans feeding the animals. When dolphins learn to associate people and boats with food, they can expose themselves to dangerous situations.

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