NOAA is on the case of a dolphin murder. A dead bottlenose dolphin found on a Florida Gulf Coast beach at the end of May had been impaled "with a spear-like object" near its right eye, with the wound "extending almost 6 inches toward the top and back of the head," the agency says. It adds the dolphin might have been begging for food when it was stabbed. A necropsy found evidence of hemorrhaging, which suggests the dolphin was impaled while still alive.
The adult male had been spotted swimming near fishing boats and with "begging dolphins" before state wildlife officials found it dead along Upper Captiva Island west of Fort Myers, per ABC News. Noting more than two dozen dolphins have been impaled or attacked with guns and arrows in the Gulf of Mexico since 2002, NOAA and its partners are offering up to $38,000 for information leading to successful prosecution of those responsible, who could face fines of up to $100,000 and a year in jail. (More dolphins stories.)