Tips needed to help hunt down dolphin killer

Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the public’s help generating any leads on the person or persons involved with the stabbing of a bottlenose dolphin off the coast of Upper Captiva.

The National Marine Fisheries Service was alerted to the presence of a dead bottlenose dolphin off Upper Captiva on May 24th.  Investigators concluded that the dolphin had been stabbed in the head with a spear-like object, likely upon surfacing the water.  Results from a subsequent necropsy confirmed that the six-inch wound caused the adult male dolphin to bleed to death.  This particular dolphin was actively being tracked by local biologists and had been spotted swimming near fishing boats just a few days prior to being found deceased.

Crime Stoppers is now joining forces with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Humane Society of the United States, in trying to find the individuals responsible for this callous killing.

“It is heartbreaking to see this awful act of violence perpetrated upon a beautiful, harmless creature,” said Trish Routte, Crime Stoppers Coordinator. 

“This was, without a doubt, a sick act of cruelty and we hope that anyone who has information on the responsible party will step up, do the right thing, and share whatever information they have.  Anyone who may have spotted something suspicious on the waterways off of Upper Captiva in the days before the dolphin was found, or anyone who has even heard information, is encouraged to reach out to us.  The person or persons who did this must be held accountable.”

Anyone with information on the stabbing of the male dolphin is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477).  All callers will remain anonymous and will be eligible for a cash reward of up to $3,000 from Crime Stoppers.

Additional reward money is being offered by the Humane Society of the United States and the NOAA.  Tips may also be made online at www.southwestfloridacrimestoppers.com or by submitting a tip on the P3Tips mobile app.