Mutilated dolphins found on Gulf of Mexico shores

November 19, 2012

There have been more dolphin deaths in recent years - 798 have been found on the shores of the Gulf since February 2010. The NOAA Fisheries declared an "unusual mortality event" last May when 123 dolphins washed up on the Texas shore and some dolphins were found on Powderhorn Beach, right in our own backyard, last March.

As if things weren't bad enough, now it seems that people are mutilating dolphins, according to Texas Monthly.

Dolphins have washed ashore stabbed with screwdrivers and knives or shot. One washed up on Mississippi's Ship Island missing it's entire lower jaw.

So far, none have been found on the Texas coast. As noted in the Texas Monthly post, harassing, harming, killing, or feeding a wild dolphin is violation of the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972. Violations are punishable by a fine of up to $100,000 or a year in prison for each incident.

Also, dolphins are smart animals and they form strong social bonds, known to stay with those who are injured or ill, even helping lift them to the surface to help them breathe. This doesn't just pertain to their own kind - they've been sighted helping other species and have even protected swimmers from sharks.

And people are killing them.