Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Why Are Morons Killing Gulf of Mexico Dolphins?

Scientific American had a very disturbing story about people who are killing and in some cases mutilating dolphins along the United States Gulf Coast. 

Perhaps what makes this more worrying than it otherwise would be is that it does not appear to be the work of some lone nut being a psychopath with the dolphins.
How can anyone harm something
as majestic as this?

It appears a number of people with a wide variety of motivations are causing the deaths of these fine animals.

According to the Scientific American article:

"Because the dolphin attacks have occurred sporadically along all 1,680 miles of the Gulf Coast, officials do not believe they are the work of  'one single madman,' as Humane Society field director Sharon Young explains. 'It may be conforting to think it's one person doing this,' she says, 'but it really isn't.'"

I see Young's point. It's hard to imagine why one person would perform such a cruel act on an innocent animal.  Even if you're a fisherman mad that dolphins are taking some of the fish you want to catch, wouldn't it be impossible to torture and kill a dolphin, given their intelligence and, for the lack of a better word, cuteness?

But then, people kill other people all the time, so what's to stop them from killing a dolphin, a guess. And it seems fishermen are murdering some of the dolphins, apparently.

Again, going back to the Scientific American article:

Herbert Nieburg, a Connecticut-based clinical psychologist and consultant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), said patients with this disorder often pursue "wanton thrill-seeking" and get a pleasurable feeling of power from hurting a more vulnerable creature.

Some people stab or otherwise mutilate dolphins after they are already dead.  They take parts of their bodies, say a jaw, as a souvenir. Very weird, indeed.

I hope people who do this are caught and prosecuted. Dolphins are protected under the U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act which forbids harassment of the animals.

Scientific American said people have been prosecuted in the past for bothering dolphins. In 2008, according to the magazine, a man was caught throwing pipe bombs at dolphins because he was annoyed they were interfering with his fishing.

He was prosecuted. Let's hope we hear of more criminal charges being filed. 

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