Authorities don’t yet know who is doing the killing and mutilating of dolphins along the Gulf Coast of the US, but the reports have been trickling in for a few months. And they’re gruesome.
The IMMS (Institute for Marine Mammal Studies) and NOAA are looking for answers. Killing a dolphin is a federal offense that involves a considerable fine, as well as jail. Let’s hope they find the sick person(s) sooner than later.
On Friday, a team from the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport found a dolphin on Ship Island with its lower jaw missing.
Last weekend, IMMS responded to a dead dolphin found along the Ocean Springs/Gautier coastline with a 9mm bullet wound. “It went through the abdomen, into the kidneys and killed it,” said Moby Solangi, IMMS executive director.
In Louisiana, a dolphin was found with its tail cut off.
“Animals don’t eat each other’s tails off,” Solangi said.
Ah yes, proud Red Staters exercising their constitutional right to kill stuff.
What kind of messed up person kills dolphins? And like this?
Dolphin deaths also are being investigated as part of an “unusual mortality event” in which more than 700 dolphins have died since February 2010.
“The unusual mortality event investigation began two months before the oil spill, and it has been a rare event in that we have never seen an unusual mortality event investigation last as long or involve so many dolphins.
“We can’t definitely say the oil spill played a role or contributed to that, but it is one of the likely causes that we are investigating very closely,” Zink said.
NOTE FROM JOHN: I remember, many years ago, when I got the chance to go out on a US nuclear submarine (working on the Hill for half the pay of what I was offered elsewhere had it perks). We were miles and miles off of Cape Canaverel (or Kennedy, whatever it’s called now), and they opened the hatch up top so we could go look around. It was stunning (and sadly, pre cell phones, so I could taken any pics). You couldn’t see land (I want to think we were 40 miles out to sea, but not sure).
But perhaps the neatest thing was the dolphins. We were still moving forward, and the dophins were swimming in front of the sub, in the swell of water right before the vessel. They seemed to be enjoying it. It was beautiful and amazing.