A pilot whale washed up on a New Jersey beach and died soon thereafter. It had been shot, and the bullet lodged in its jaw caused an infection which prevented it from eating. The whale starved to death. It may have taken about a month for the starvation to occur, so authorities are not sure if the shooting took place in the waters off New Jersey or elsewhere. Anyone with information about the shooting should report the crime to the Office of Animal Welfare, or send an email message. If you have information about this crime, report it and help justice to be served.
If caught, the shooter could face a year in prison and a fine up to $100,000 according to the Marine Mammal Protection Act. No one knows if it was a worker on fishing boat, a drunken fool on a joyride or a wacko who enjoys hurting animals. One speculation was that it could have been shark fisherman, because they typically carry guns of their boats. The whale beached at Allenhurst, north of Asbury Park. A .30 caliber bullet was found in its jaw. Given that the whale was injured and couldn’t eat, it might have been shot not far from New Jersey because it might not have been able to move at a normal speed. The whale was found to be several hundred pounds underweight when its body was studied. The only good news related to this terrible event is that short-finned pilot whales are not endangered. In fact, there may be tens of thousands distributed around the world. Even so, they are still protected in U.S. waters, due to various human activities that damage their populations.
Image Credit: NOAA Photo Library