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Dolphin fatally stabbed in Fort Meyers, Florida

A dolphin that washed up on a Florida beach has been stabbed to death in a sick marine murder that investigators are now trying to solve, wildlife officials have said.

Beachgoers discovered the remains of the female bottlenose dolphin with a bloody gash above her right eye late last month along the shoreline in Fort Meyers, Florida.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration conducted an autopsy on the mammal and determined it had been impaled with a spear-shaped object.

The injury was sustained while he was alive, officials said.

The agency said the dolphin was likely illegally fed in a semi-upright position before being stabbed.

“Based on the shape, size and characteristics of the wound, it is suspected that the dolphin was impaled while in a begging position,” NOAA said. “Begging is not a natural behavior for dolphins and is often associated with illegal feeding.

Officials took a disturbing photo of the lifeless creature that showed a large cut on the right side of its skull.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration believes the bottlenose dolphin was illegally fed before it was killed.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Harming or killing wild dolphins is prohibited under the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act and violators face up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

Local law enforcement is investigating the incident.

Officials said violence against dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico is an ongoing concern.

The Fort Myers knife attack marks the 27th case since 2002 where mammals have been victimized, NOAA said.

New York Post

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