Rewards offered for Gulf of Mexico dolphin killer

Dolphin-Mississippi-death.jpgAfter news of a series of Gulf of Mexico dolphin attacks that have included bullet wounds, a missing jaw and a hacked-off fin, Paul Watson, star of the Animal Planet series Whale Wars, announced on Tuesday evening that he is offering $20,000 of his own money for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible. The California-based Animal Legal Defense Fund already has offered a $5,000 reward.

“I regard the killing of a dolphin as murder, and what we appear to have on the Gulf Coast is a dolphin serial killer,” said Watson, a co-founder of Greenpeace. “I want this sadistic killer stopped.”
Watson leads the global marine nonprofit conservation organization Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, which he founded in 1977. It’s mission is “to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species.”

In the most recently reported dolphin fatality, on Friday, scientists from the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport found a dolphin near Deer Island with its lower jaw missing. On Monday, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officials asked people to be on the lookout for injured or dead dolphins, and any unusual human interactions with dolphins, and call the NOAA Enforcement hotline at 800.853.1964 to make a report.

It’s yet another in a recent spate of intentional attacks on dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico. In September, a bottlenose dolphin was fatally shot and found dead in Louisiana on Elmer’s Island near Grand Isle.

And earlier this year, a dolphin off Alabama was found with a screwdriver stuck in its head. During the past several years, Gulf fishers have been convicted of shooting dolphins, or targeting them with pipe bombs.

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