Florida authorities seek information after dolphin found stabbed to death

Fort Myers, Florida - A dead dolphin washed up on Fort Myers after being horrifically stabbed while possibly begging for food.

The dolphin may have been begging for food when it was killed.
The dolphin may have been begging for food when it was killed.  © 123rf/ izanbar

According to a press release from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the lactating female dolphin washed up on Fort Myers in Florida on March 24.

The autopsy revealed that the dolphin was probably still alive when it was stabbed right above the eye with a spear like object.

Officials wrote, "The animal appeared to have died from the trauma, which occurred at or near the time of death."

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They think the dolphin was stabbed while begging for food: "Based on the shape, size and characteristics of the wound, it is suspected that the dolphin was impaled while in a begging position. Begging is not a natural behavior for dolphins and is frequently associated with illegal feeding."

In their press release, officials asked that people refrain from feeding dolphins to prevent further incidents. This, as well as harming or killing the animals, is prohibited under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Lawbreakers could face up to a year in jail and $100,000 in fines.

According to the NOAA, since 2002 some 26 other dolphins have been found in the Gulf of Mexico with injuries from guns, arrows, and sharp objects. On April 10, a dolphin died in Quintana Beach, Texas after beach goers harassed and tried to ride it in.

Officials are asking anyone with any information about the incident to call the NOAA Enforcement Hotline at (800) 853-1964.

Cover photo: 123rf/ izanbar

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