Dolphin Found Dead on Beach with Gunshot Wounds Sparks $20,000 Reward Offer from NOAA

TAMPA, Fla. – A heartbreaking incident has caught the attention of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries Services, as they offer a $20,000 reward for information regarding the tragic death of a dolphin on a beach in Louisiana. The juvenile bottlenose dolphin was discovered on March 13 with multiple bullets lodged in its brain, spinal cord, and heart on West Mae’s Beach in Cameron Parish.

A necropsy confirmed that the dolphin had passed away from trauma occurring at or near the time of death, as revealed by NOAA. The Office of Law Enforcement within NOAA is currently conducting an investigation into the dolphin’s death and is incentivizing information with a $20,000 reward for assistance that leads to an arrest or civil penalty assessment.

NOAA strictly prohibits actions such as harassing, hunting, killing, or feeding wild dolphins, with potential civil or criminal charges against violators that could result in fines up to $100,000 and imprisonment of up to one year per violation. Individuals with any relevant information are urged to contact the NOAA Enforcement Hotline at 800-853-1964.

The incident serves as a stark reminder of the importance of protecting marine wildlife and adhering to regulations set in place to ensure their safety and well-being. Authorities are committed to pursuing justice in this heartbreaking case and are relying on public cooperation to bring those responsible to account for their actions. Wildlife conservation efforts play a crucial role in preserving the delicate balance of marine ecosystems and safeguarding the future of these vulnerable species. The tragic demise of this dolphin highlights the ongoing threats faced by marine life and underscores the critical need for vigilance and adherence to regulations aimed at their protection.