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Tips lead to break in the case of a dolphin found dead, shot with a hunting arrow in Northern Gulf of Mexico

Contact:
Kim  Amendola
(727) 551-5707
(727) 403-6533 (Cell)
Allison  Garrett
(727) 551-5750
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
December 19, 2014
Shooter identified as a juvenile

NOAA's Office of Law Enforcement positively identified a juvenile who admitted to shooting a
bottlenose dolphin with a hunting arrow in Florida state waters. That dolphin was found dead
more than a week later in Orange Beach, Ala.

NOAA federal agents requested assistance from the Alabama Department of Conservation and
Natural Resources, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Escambia
County Sherriff’s Office. Together they obtained written confessions and seized the bow. Since
this is a juvenile case, no other information is releasable.

NOAA federal agents are grateful to the other enforcement agencies assisting with the case, as
well as the help received from the public and the media. The publicity and tips helped federal
agents find the person responsible for this incident.

Thanks also goes to those who contributed to the generous reward in this case. Contributions for
the $24,000 reward came from the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, The Humane Society of the
United States and The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust, Alabama Gulf Coast Reef and
Restoration Foundation, Coastal Alabama Business Chamber, Cobalt/Cosmos Restaurants, Reel
Surprise Fishing Charters, Gulf Chrysler, and the Coastal Conservation Association, the City of
Orange Beach and one private citizen.

People can help prevent future harm to wild dolphins by not feeding or attempting to feed them.
Dolphins fed by people learn to associate people with food, which puts dolphins and people in
potentially harmful situations.

NOAA has not received tips on the pregnant dolphin shot and killed on Choctawhatchee Bay in
Miramar Beach, Fla., just before Thanksgiving. Anyone with information on that incident should
call NOAA’s enforcement office in Niceville, Fla., at 850-729-8628 or the NOAA Enforcement
Hotline at 1-800-853-1964 as soon as possible. Tips may be left anonymously and the reward,
offered by the Whale and Dolphin Conservation, stands at $2,500 for information leading to arrest
and prosecution.

Harassing, harming, killing or feeding wild dolphins is prohibited under the Marine Mammal
Protection Act of 1972. Violations can be prosecuted either civilly or criminally and are punishable
by up to $100,000 in fines and up to one year in jail per violation.

To report a stranded, injured or sick dolphin, call 1-877-WHALE-HELP (1-877-942-5343).
NOAA's mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the
depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and
marine resources.

*Photos of the bow in this case and others of the Orange Beach and Miramar Beach
dolphins are available upon request – please contact Kim Amendola via
email, Kim.Amendola@noaa.gov or Allison Garrett via email, Allison.Garrett@noaa.gov