Wildlife Cops Seek Whale Shooter
Pilot whale beached itself, died, a month after being shot
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Oct 4, 2011 3:40 PM CDT
A pilot whale washed up on shore in New Jersey.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Officials are looking for the person who shot a whale that beached itself and died on the Jersey shore after a month of painful swimming. The attack could result in big fines and a year in jail. “This poor animal literally starved to death," says a wildlife agency rep. "It was wandering around and slowly starving to death” thanks to an infection. “Who would do that to an innocent animal?"

A bullet in the 11-foot pilot whale’s jaw caused an infection that prevented it from eating. It weighed some 740 pounds when it arrived on shore—about 260 pounds less than it should have, the AP reports. Officials hope the shooting will be reported. “Sometimes what we find is months down the road, you get a disgruntled crew member on a boat, or someone who had an argument with someone else, and then you get a phone call,” says a wildlife agency rep.