LEE COUNTY, Fla. — Authorites are looking for anyone with information about a dead dolphin found impaled in the head in South Florida.
NOAA law enforcement officials said the bottlenose dolphin was found dead along Upper Captiva Island in Lee County near Cape Coral and Fort Myers. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission recovered the dolphin in May.
NOAA said a necropsy showed the dolphin was impaled with a spear-like object while still alive. Officials said the wound penetrated from above and in front of the dolphin's right eye and extended almost 6 inches toward the top and back of the head.
The wound inside the dolphin's head went to the top of the skull and showed evidence of bleeding and wounds "consistent with being impaled prior to death," NOAA said in a release.
The dolphin was an adult male previously known to area biologists. NOAA said the dolphin was last seen swimming around fishing boats and with "begging dolphins."
Officials said the wound indicates the dolphin may have been in a "begging posture" when he was stabbed.
Anyone with information about this dolphin is asked to call the NOAA Enforcement Hotline at 1-800-853-1964. Tips can be left anonymously.
Harassing, harming, killing or feeding wild dolphins is prohibited under the Marine Mammal Protection act of 1972. Violations can be punishable by up to $100,000 in fines and up to one year in jail per violation.
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