A dolphin washed ashore in Louisiana with gunshot holes, and federal officials are now offering a large prize to find the culpable culprit.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fisheries Service revealed the dolphin’s death Tuesday, stating that the mammal’s body washed ashore on Mae’s Beach in Cameron Parish on March 13.

The NOAA claims it did a necropsy (an animal autopsy) on the corpse and discovered numerous bullets trapped in the brain, spinal cord, and heart. A photo of the dead dolphin has circulated, although it does not appear to show the bullet holes mentioned.

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In either case, officials are offering a $20,000 prize to anyone with information that leads to a criminal conviction or the imposition of a civil penalty on the dolphin’s killers. In other words, they want to find out who did it.

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Dolphin murder is not uncommon; in fact, it occurs more frequently than you may realize. In 2020, Florida officials discovered a dead bottlenose dolphin in the Gulf of Mexico with a gaping hole on the side of its face, which was suspected to be caused by a bullet or spear.

As we previously reported, another dolphin washed up on the Florida coast in 2022 with a knife wound in its head, and officials believe the animal was killed while begging humans for food.

The Marine creature Protection Act makes it illegal to hunt, harass, capture, or kill any marine creature, including dolphins.

Each infraction carries a punishment of up to $100,000 and a year in jail.