One expert explained that when these animals are trapped, they are injured and drown again.
The U.S. Marine National Fisheries Service’s law enforcement office is offering a reward of up to $ 20,000 for anyone who helps identify a dolphin chase off the coast of Quintana Beach, Texas.
On April 10, a woman called the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network that a dolphin first spotted in the sand was surrounded by a crowd pushing it into the water.
Heidi Whitehead, managing director of the organization, told The Washington Post that it’s common because “unfortunately, people think they’re doing the right thing and trying to push mammals into the water.”
However, according to the official, when a dolphin is stranded on the beach, it is usually injured or sick and may have difficulty breathing, so if it is pushed back into the water it will drown.
Whitehead said an employee instructed the female caller to ask the crowd to bring the animal ashore, keep it moist, and give space until rescuers arrive. However, bathers pushed the animal under the water, wrapped it around it, and made their babies “like dolphin riders.”
By the time rescuers reached the beach where the dolphin was found, the mammal was not breathing. Thus, in Whitehead’s words, “the rescue operation became a rescue mission.”
Whitehead and his team collected the animal’s carcass for an autopsy in his laboratory. An autopsy revealed that the mammal had drowned.
Whitehead lamented the situation, “Citizens are trying to push the dolphin back with good intentions because they do not know it’s right, but it’s a completely different situation, because it’s persecution”, which is an act. She was “completely unforgiving.”
“The hardest part for me and my staff is thinking about the suffering this animal has undoubtedly experienced in its last few minutes,” he said.
Dolphins in the United States are subject to the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972. Anyone found guilty of harassing, harming, feeding or killing wild dolphins could face a fine of up to $ 100,000 or up to a year in prison for the offense.
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