Feds hunt for suspect who stabbed dolphin in the head, killing it

Federal authorities are on the hunt for the suspect or suspects who killed a dolphin by impaling it in the head with a spearlike object. 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced on Thursday that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission had recovered a dead bottlenose dolphin along Upper Captiva Island in Lee County at the end of May. A necropsy revealed that the gregarious toothed whale had been impaled with a spearlike object while it was still alive. 

"There was a wound penetrating from above and in front of the right eye, extending almost 6 inches toward the top and back of the head," the NOAA said. "The wound ended inside the head at the top of the skull and had evidence of hemorrhaging, indicating wounds consistent with being impaled prior to death."

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Florida officials find dolphin impaled in the head
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Florida officials find dolphin impaled in the head
Florida officials found a dolphin impaled in the head in May.
Florida officials found a dolphin that was impaled in the head in May.
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The dolphin was an adult male that biologists in the area were purportedly familiar with. He had last been seen swimming with other "begging dolphins," who commonly approach people who feed them. According to the necropsy, the dolphin may have been stabbed with an object while it was in a begging posture. 

Since 2002, at least 26 dolphins have been killed in the Gulf of Mexico, the NOAA notes. 

The agency, along with the Humane Society of the United States and a number of other organizations, are now offering a reward of up to $38,000 for any information regarding the culprit or culprits behind the crime. Those who have any tips are encouraged to call the NOAA Enforcement Hotline at 1-800-853-1964.

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