Dolphin: attracted by food, animals become easy prey – 09/17/2019 mikakaptur / Pixabay
US federal officials on Wednesday offered a $ 20,000 reward for reporting the deaths of two dolphins. The animals were found with fatal injuries off the Florida Gulf coast last week.
One of the dolphins was discovered in the waters of Naples, in southwest Florida, and the other, on Pensacola beach, in the Gulf of Mexico. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which released the reward, the two were shot or stabbed – possibly both attacks.
The WFLA, a local broadcaster in Tampa Bay, Florida, posted photos of the animals on Twitter, warning about the graphic content.
According to the British newspaper The Guardian, experts believe that the deaths were probably facilitated by the irregular feeding of wild animals by people.
Authorities have instructed people not to feed wild dolphins because when they learn to associate people and boats with food, they can expose themselves to dangerous situations and become easy prey.
Since 2002, at least 29 dolphins have been found dead in the state, with evidence of having been shot by firearms or impaled with objects such as fishing spears.
In the most recent previous case, in May 2019, a dolphin was found on the island of Captiva with a fatal head injury. An investigation into the death is still ongoing.