Dolphins found shot, mutilated; hunt on for killers
"In my 30-plus years in this business, I've never seen anything so heartbreaking, cruel and senseless," Solangi said on Tuesday. "You hear about serial killers who chop up bodies and put the parts in the freezer. This is just as horrible, but involving defenseless animals."The institute, which performed necropsies on the dead dolphins, has provided forensic evidence such as bullet casings to area law enforcement and met with a federal investigator, Solangi said.On Tuesday, the institute announced a $5,000 reward aimed at helping catch those who played a role in the dolphins' deaths.Dolphins are covered by the Marine Mammal Protection Act, a 1972 law that makes killing them punishable by up to $20,000 in fines for each violation and a year in prison."We're hoping with publicity about a fine and jail sentence, someone who knows something will come forward," Solangi said.Because the killings have spanned several states, authorities doubt a single person is responsible.The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has issued a directive to enforcement and protection agencies to be on the lookout for anyone harming dolphins.The California nonprofit Animal Legal Defense Fund announced a $5,000 reward on Monday for anyone providing information that leads to the arrest and conviction of someone involved in the killings.
By Kaija Wilkinson | Reuters