IMMS continues to look for answers in dolphin deaths - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

IMMS continues to look for answers in dolphin deaths

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GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

They're regarded by many as one of the most intelligent, gentle, and friendly creatures on earth.  That's exactly why there's so much confusion surrounding recent incidents along the Gulf Coast.

"There's been a rash of animals [dolphins] that have been killed. We've had a couple with bullet wounds. They've been mutilated. That's the worst part. It's senseless. It's cruel. It's repugnant and it's illegal," Institute for Marine Mammal Studies (IMMS) Director, Moby Solangi said.

If convicted, the person or persons responsible could face a hefty fine and up to a year in prison. The race is on to find those responsible. Just last week two carcasses were found along South Mississippi's coastline.

Experts said dolphins are naturally curious and kind by nature. So they really don't understand why anyone would do something so horrible.

"We work with these animals everyday. They're amazing creatures. The dolphins that we have here are ambassadors to all the dolphins in the Gulf. So to hear that someone is going out and doing these types of things, it's really heartbreaking to hear," dolphin trainer, Katherine Burton said. 

As with most species, in the wild, dolphins can sometimes show signs of aggression towards each other. However, usually that behavior isn't displayed towards humans. That leaves workers with the IMMS to believe these recent acts of violence are nothing more than cruel and heinous.

"It's heartbreaking. I mean you don't understand the rationale behind it and we're hoping that once the word gets out that what they're doing is being noticed, and that the public doesn't like it, hopefully it will stop," Solangi said.

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