Transcript for Gulf Coast Tragedy
mysterious deaths of dolphins there. Someone is targeting them in a senseless and cruel way. Abc's john schriffen is in gulfport, mississippi, tonight. Reporter: Just like a lovable pet, ds are some of the friendliest animals in the water. But tonight, authorities patrolling the gulf coast are on high alert for attackers responsible for brutally killing them. Over the past two weeks, a disturbing sight here on the shores of the gulf. Four dolphins found mutilated, either floating in the ocean or washing up on beaches in louisiana, mississippi and alabama. Some have been found with bullet holes. One with its tail cut off. Another missing its lower jaw. What kind of a person would do this? This has to be a person who is really deranged. I mean, no normal person would kill senselessly and then mutilate it. Reporter: The results of the autopsies will determine not just how they died, but whether they were first tortured. The gulf is home to the largest population of dolphins in the united states, which is why the experts fear they could find more victims. Very, very curious animals and when they come close to boats, you have somebody using them as target practice. Reporter: And with such a large body of water to police, authorities are asking local fishermen to be on the lookout for anyone committing these crimes. The punishment for killing a dolphin? A fine of up to $100,000 and a maximum one year in jail.
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