Harassing a marine mammal is a federal offense, the culprits will pay for their deed
This past Sunday morning, two individuals who were out enjoying an early swim in the waters off Florida's coast came across a distressed sperm whale and, rather than alert the authorities, saw fit to catch a ride on the animal's back.It has not been long since one woman got arrested for rising a manatee and since a diver received death threats following his killing and eating an octopus, yet it seems that some people have yet to wrap their heads around the idea that marine animals are not there for us to toy with.
These two swimmers who decided to harass the dying sperm whale by climbing on its back and using it as a living boat were spotted by a woman who was merely enjoying Pompano Beach's landscape, Huffington Post reports.
Shocked by what she witnessed, Margie Casey took pictures of the two swimmers and the distressed marine mammal, and later on uploaded them on her Twitter account. As was to be expected, there were many who shared her outrage.
Despite the fact that two employees of the US Marine Animal Rescue Society arrived at the scene shortly, the whale passed away before anybody ever got a chance to figure out what was wrong with it and try to rescue it.
Both marine biologists and local police are now investigating whether the sperm whale's death was unavoidable, or if perhaps the swimmers and their attempt to ride it had a say in this marine mammal's passing away.
As NOAA specialist Blair Mase explains, “This whale was likely ill or injured and that is why it came in so close to shore.”
“This type of harassment could have caused more harm and added stress to an already stressed whale and ultimately caused its demise,” Blair Mase went on to add.
Regardless of whether or not their deed cause the whale to die, the two swimmers are facing legal charges, seeing how harassing a marine animal is considered to be a federal offense.
The whale was 30 feet long (roughly 9.15 meters), and its body displayed several lacerations. Its corpse was carried out in the open waters by the authorities and the marine biologists present at the scene.