Authorities Looking For Florida Man Seen Holding Dolphin In Viral Photo, Reports Say It Later Passed Away

Dolphin fisherman
Local 10 News

Turns out people don’t just do dumb things in national parks.

If you’ve followed us for any amount of time, you’ve most likely seen countless stories of people messing with wildlife in various national parks throughout the country, but mainly in Yellowstone, which brings in over 3 million visitors per year.

There was this guy who picked up a bison calf which later had to be euthanized and this group who put a newborn elk in their car and drove it to the ranger’s station.

Well, a new story is breaking of someone improperly handling wildlife, this time out of the east coast of Florida.

According to News 4 Jacksonville, a photo was posted to Instagram which shows a north Florida angler holding a dolphin several feet out of water. Not only is this in violation of the Marine Mammals Protection Act, but is extremely dangerous for the dolphin, as they need buoyancy to survive and removing it from water can cause the animal to collapse on itself, making breathing very difficult if not impossible.

The photo has since been removed from the surfing Instagram account and despite outlets reaching out, no comment on their side has yet been made.

Jacksonville University marine science professor had the following to say

“The dolphin was probably ill to be caught like that and to put that kind of stress on an animal really is horrific. It may not survive…and we won’t know probably for a while whether it made it or not.

So it’s, it was pretty horrific when I saw it. A lot of animals, people don’t realize it, they catch them. And they say, ‘Oh, I want to take pictures,’ and they put it back in the water…and they die because they’re not used to being out of the water.”

Both the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Florida Fish and Wildlife are investigating and as of now no charges have been filed.

Although these reports have yet to be verified, there are some news outlets which are stating the dolphin later did pass away.

I completely get wanting to get a picture holding a dolphin. They’re some of the coolest animals and there’s not many chances to be that close to one, but you just absolutely can’t do it.

Of course, he definitely hooked it by accident, an unfortunate predicament that most anglers can relate to, but let this be a warning to anyone else who may find themselves in this situation.

If the animal is in distress, try to get it back in the water immediately and call the local wildlife officials, who will either provide proper guidance on how to handle it or come out to the scene themselves.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock