Dolphin Stabbed Near Eye with a Spear-Like Object Found Dead on Florida Beach, Officials Say

Officials suspect someone impaled the female bottleneck dolphin while feeding the marine mammal illegally near Fort Meyers

Stock photo of a dolphin not the late K2. Photo: Getty

WARNING: Graphic photos below

A dolphin washed up on a Fort Myers, Florida, beach after being fatally stabbed above the eye last month, according to officials.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission recovered the female bottleneck dolphin on March 24, per a press release from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Officials suspect the dolphin was still alive and being illegally fed when she was impaled, the press release stated.

"Based on the shape, size, and characteristics of the wound, it is suspected that the dolphin was impaled while in a begging position," NOAA said. "Begging is not a natural behavior for dolphins and is frequently associated with illegal feeding."

The dolphin likely died due to trauma from the stab, according to the agency.

The organization is calling for people to stop feeding wild dolphins to avoid further incidents.

Dolphin Impaled in the Head on Fort Myers Beach
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

"People can help prevent future harm to wild dolphins by not feeding or attempting to feed them," NOAA said. "Dolphins fed by people learn to associate people, boats, and fishing gear with food, which puts dolphins and people in harmful situations."

Denise Boyd, a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission research associate, told WSVN that the dolphins are looking for easily accessible food.

Dolphin Impaled in the Head on Fort Myers Beach
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

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"They [dolphins] will generally come up out of the water looking for, basically, a handout," she explained to the outlet.

Harming, killing, or feeding wild dolphins is prohibited under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Violators could face up to one year in jail and $100,000 in fines, according to the agency.

At least 26 other dolphins have been found with injuries from guns, arrows, and sharp objects since 2002, per NOAA.

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