Dolphins being killed with screwdrivers, shot in Alabama, Louisiana

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.



Dolphins via Shutterstock

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?

This is part of a larger concern about a recent upswing in dolphin deaths:

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.

An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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12 Responses to “Dolphins being killed with screwdrivers, shot in Alabama, Louisiana”

  1. andnoo says:

    uh yeah about the “red staters” comment. There are no such things as bad weapons but bad people. It doesn’t matter what state you’re in or country for that matter people choose to do evil things regardless of what they have available to them including their own hands

  2. Maire says:

    Chris in Paris, I didn’t think I could get any madder or more disgusted by this, but lo and behold, you and a couple of your precious commenters didn’t let me down. Thank you oh so much for making political hay out of this sick tragedy. The political angle you inserted into this story was really the cherry on top of a monstrous horror. And quite frankly, from the brief, almost matter-of-fact nature of this piece, I dare say you were less repulsed than excited by the prospect of finding “Red Staters” committing inhuman acts of cruelty (because that’s so like them, isn’t it?). You know what, Chris in Paris? F you and whatever mode of transportation which carried you out of this country.

  3. mike31c says:

    God damn red necks and their inability to be decent human beings.

  4. Ryan Kuiper says:

    If you think that’s bad, what about pigs? They are known to be even more intelligent than dolphins yet it is culturally acceptable to enslave and torture pigs. I am opposed to all forms of animal abuse.

  5. Papa Bear says:

    Juries in California used to be allowed to find a defendent “Guilty but insane”. The sentence was treatment until ‘cured’, and then imprisonment for however long the crime called for.

    We need that back…

  6. A reader in Colorado says:

    Cruelty to animals is not confined to “red” states. I used to live in the Denver suburb of Westminster. Eleven years ago, two teenagers set a cat on fire and threw it out of the open window of a pickup truck. The burned cat was named “Westy”, for the town in which he was maimed and nearly killed.

    Eleven years later, we have “Westy’s Law” which makes it a felony to have this kind of animal cruelty in our state. Before that, believe it or not, it was not even a felony, but merely a misdemeanor, to commit this kind of animal abuse.

    People who commit this kind of horrific cruelty to animals such as is found in your story are psychos. They need to be locked up in a mental institution and treated, then made to pay for their crimes. It’s not a red state/blue state thing. People like this are in every state in the nation.

  7. FLL says:

    There is great diversity among animal species regarding sexual practices. However, when it comes to male-male sexual activity, dolphins as a species are, without doubt, the superstars of the animal kingdom. Dolphins can’t spit, like humans can, but if they could… if they could, they would spit on the Old Testament. I don’t think this has escaped the attention of some. Ahem.

  8. CattyNineTails says:

    Many years ago, I was aboard a friend’s sailboat when we noticed some strange rippling in the water not far off.

    It turned out to be an enormous swarm of Dall’s porpoises, among the smallest but fastest of the cetaceans, and within minutes they’d surrounded our boat.

    They seemed to enjoy swimming in the wake created by the bow surging through the water, but not nearly as much as WE enjoyed their sudden appearance — everyone aboard was screaming, pointing, grabbing cameras, and leaning over the side to take pictures of these astonishing creatures from less than 5 feet away.

    Some of them even seemed to turn and swim sideways so they could look up at us!

    They stayed with us for only about 5 minutes and then, as if on cue, the entire vast “herd” turned and swam off — all but one little baby whose mother had to come back and nudge him to follow.

    Everyone aboard the boat was breathless, elated, some were even in tears after witnessing such an amazing display. None of us had ever seen even ONE porpoise or dolphin swimming free in its natural habitat instead of penned up in some obscenely small cement pool at Marineland, much less a huge, uncountable group of them.

    I can’t ever forget that wonderful experience — which is why reading articles like this makes me physically nauseous.

    The worst day in human history will be the day we learn how to communicate with the animals we’ve spent so long abusing, torturing, poisoning and murdering.

  9. Ariane Tulloch says:

    I am glad that I am not the only one who believes this.

  10. ComradeRutherford says:

    Have the Learning Channel check their footage of those red necks they keep idolizing on their fake reality shows.

  11. Gindy51 says:

    Whoever did this deserves to die the worst death imaginable, akin to child molesters, murderers, and rapists. Dolphins are extremely intelligent and have rescued stranded humans and protected them from sharks too many times to count. They have never killed a human being and for members of our species to do this says a lot about ALL of us.

  12. Jim says:

    Torturing and killing dolphins? Chris, I envy you for living in Paris. I can’t imagine the French producing or having to deal with so many assholes and psychopaths.

    How much you want to bet this is being done by christian-republicans.

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