The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office of Law Enforcement is investigating a case involving a pregnant bottlenose dolphin found dead on the beach in Waveland.
A necropsy, or animal autopsy, revealed the mother dolphin died of a gunshot wound, with the unborn calf dying as a result of the mother’s death.
NOAA’s stranding network partner, the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies (IMMS), recovered the dolphin on April 30th and placed the animal in their freezer until a thorough necropsy could be conducted. A small caliber bullet was found lodged in the dolphin’s lung and proved to be the cause of death.
NOAA officials seek information from anyone who may have details about this incident. Please call the NOAA Enforcement Hotline at 1-800-853-1964.
Lightkeepers, Humane Society of the United States, CetLaw, Oceans Experience, Dolphins Plus Marine Mammal Responder and Animal Welfare Institute are offering an $11,500 reward to anyone with information leading to the successful identification of anyone responsible. NOAA said to include your name and contact information when calling enforcement to be eligible for the reward.