A reward of up to $11,500 is being offered for information leading to the capture of the person who shot and killed a pregnant dolphin on the US Gulf Coast, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.
The dolphin was found dead on a beach in Waveland, Mississippi, on April 30, NOAA said in a statement.
A necropsy found the dolphin died of a gunshot wound, NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement said.
It said The Humane Society and other groups had put together the reward seeking information leading to the dolphin’s killer.
According to NOAA, violence against dolphins has increased in the Gulf of Mexico in recent years.
Since 2002, at least 24 dolphins have turned up on beaches after having been shot by guns or arrows, or impaled with objects, NOAA said.
Harming wild dolphins is prohibited under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 and violators can be subject to fines of $100,000 and one year in prison.