A Florida teenager says he has received death threats after he pulled a baby dolphin out of the sea for an Instagram photo, after which the fish died.
An unidentified 19-year-old boy posted a photo online of himself smiling as he pulled a calf dolphin calf several feet above the water’s surface under a bridge over the Nassau Strait on Amelia Island. A calf was found dead in the same area on Wednesday. Reported by News4Jax.
The social media post sparked outrage and sparked an investigation by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. [FWC] and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Dr Quincy Gibson, Associate Professor of Coastal Marine Biology at the UNF, reviewed the FWC report on the incident and said the dead one-year-old dolphin recovered by wildlife officials is the same one in the photograph. Investigators said they believed
“I have heard, gentlemen, [at FWC] We seem to agree that it is,” she said, noting that dolphins can be identified by their unique dorsal fin.
“The shape matches the photo with dolphins.” [is] He’s in custody…it’s very likely,” Gibson added.
It’s not clear if the dolphin in the photo was alive or dead, but Gibson said if the dolphin was alive at the time, it wouldn’t have been around for so long.
Photos of the dolphins in the FWC report show them swollen and bleeding from their mouths, which she said was part of the fish’s decay process.
“I think it’s very likely that he died after that.” [the photo was taken]But it’s highly unlikely that it was dead when it was recently picked up in the water,” Dr Gibson said.
“But judging by the reports and photos I’ve heard, and the actions of the people in them, it seems like they caught it…and could have been alive at the time.”
The man who posted the image defended the incident by claiming it was an accident after backlash online.
In response to one critic’s comment, he said, “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to catch a dolphin bycatch from a beach,” adding, “Anything.” Good,’ he reportedly replied. to state officials.
“I was immediately furious,” surfer Beaugrand told News4JAX. He said he saw a post on a surfing account on Saturday.
“This is a crime against nature,” he said.
“We tried to see if it was still alive or if it could be revived,” he said in a brief statement to the magazine, adding, “There was nothing we could do.” .
Since then, the boy has continued to receive death threats. The Daily Mail reported.
Although he hasn’t been charged yet, interfering with wild dolphins, even dead ones, is illegal under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
If prosecuted, violators of the Marine Mammal Protection Act could face civil penalties of up to about $34,000 or criminal fines and up to one year in prison, according to News4Jax.