Dolphin found shot to death as NOAA offers $20K reward for info

A dolphin was found shot to death in Louisiana. (Credit: Audubon Aquarium Rescue)

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said a dolphin was found shot to death and is offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to a criminal conviction or the assessment of a civil penalty. 

NOAA Fisheries said on March 13, it received a report of a dead bottlenose dolphin on West Mae’s Beach in Cameron Parish, Louisiana.

The young dolphin's injuries were consistent with being shot with a firearm. A necropsy revealed the animal received multiple bullets lodged in the carcass, including in the brain, spinal cord, and heart.

RELATED: Pacific sleeper shark: Study analyzes ‘possibly the largest predatory fish' in ocean

It's believed the dolphin died from trauma, which happened at or near the time of death. 

NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement said it is investigating. 

The Audubon Aquarium Rescue recovered that animal and transported it to the Audubon Nature Institute in New Orleans for the necropsy.  

Anyone with information about this incident should call the NOAA Enforcement Hotline at (800) 853-1964. You can leave tips anonymously, but to be eligible for the reward you must include your name and contact information.

Violations of harming marine life are punishable by up to $100,000 in fines and up to 1 year in jail per violation. 

This story was reported from Los Angeles.