I don't know anybody that doesn't like dolphins. Whether you grew up with Flipper or Ace Ventura, they just seem to be one of those animals that are universally loved. Unfortunately, there's at least one person in Louisiana that doesn't like dolphins. Because one was recently found shot to death in Cameron Parish. NOAA and law enforcement agencies are trying to find the culprit who did it.

Law Enforcement Trying to Find Culprit Who Murdered Dolphin in Louisiana

According to NOAA's Office of Law Enforcement, the juvenile bottlenose dolphin was discovered March 13th on West Mae's Beach in Cameron Parish with multiple gunshot wounds.

The Audubon Aquarium Rescue team recovered the animal and took it to New Orleans for an autopsy. They discovered the dolphin was shot multiple times, including wounds to the brain, spinal cord and heart.

So far, a suspect has not been identified or arrested. With the lack of leads in the case, NOAA is now offering up a substantial $20,000 reward for any information that aids the investigation and leads to a conviction.

Anyone with information about the incident can contact the NOAA Law Enforcement Hotline at 800-853-1964.

What is the Punishment for Killing a Dolphin?

Under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, there's a pretty sizeable punishment for harming, harassing, feeding or killing wild dolphins. According to the law, any illegal acts can be punishable with up to a year in jail and up to $100,000 in fines.

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Did You Know Dolphins Live in Louisiana Year-Round?

According to the Marine Mammal Commission, bottlenose dolphins in Barataria Bay near West Mae's Beach year round. In fact, Barataria Bay has the largest dolphin population on the Gulf of Mexico, with an estimated 2,000 dolphins living in the area.

However, those dolphins face many challenges including freshwater being pumped into the bay from the Mississippi River and a large portion of the population suffering health issues as a result of oil spills in the region.

Wild Animals Illegal To Keep As Pets in Louisiana

While a person might consider it novel to keep lions, tigers or bears as a pet in Louisiana, they are among the list of wild animals forbidden to be kept by private citizens as pets. These are just some those animals Louisiana law completely forbids from ownership.

LOOK: Here are the pets banned in each state

Because the regulation of exotic animals is left to states, some organizations, including The Humane Society of the United States, advocate for federal, standardized legislation that would ban owning large cats, bears, primates, and large poisonous snakes as pets.

Read on to see which pets are banned in your home state, as well as across the nation.

Gallery Credit: Elena Kadvany

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