A reward for information about the recent deaths of two Dolphins along Florida’s Gulf Coast has increased to 54,000 dollars, officials said.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration had offered a 20,000-dollar reward last month. The federal agency announced that it was combining that reward with another 34,000 dollars pledged by animal rights groups.
Biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission discovered a dead dolphin off Naples in southwest Florida last month. The marine mammal had been killed by a bullet or sharp object. The same week, Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge experts recovered a dolphin with a bullet in its left side along Pensacola Beach in the Florida Panhandle.
Experts believe the two deaths might have stemmed from humans feeding the animals. When dolphins learn to associate people and boats with food, they expose themselves to dangerous situations.