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Jul 23, 2021

Bottlenose Dolphin Killed in Corozal

The Ministry of Blue Economy is condemning the killing of a bottlenose dolphin sometime last week in northern Belize.  A press release from the Department of Fisheries laments the death of this species, which is protected in Belize. It says, “Bottlenose dolphins are highly intelligent and social marine mammals. We denounce the senseless killing of the animal and lament the loss of this valuable animal as its species is a contributor to Belize’s biodiversity and has high ecological importance.”  A resident found the dead dolphin floating in the Progresso-Little Belize Lagoon.  The Sarteneja Alliance for Conservation and Development says that the scene suggests the dolphin was killed sometime around the seventeenth of this month. Today, we spoke with Leomir Santoya about what they’ve discovered about the dead dolphin.


Leomir Santoya

Leomir Santoya, Natural Resource Management Programme Manager, SACD

“When we conducted the necropsy through virtual inspection we noticed that it had some wounds made by a firearm. So, we further searched the wounds so we opened the carcass and found six pellets which total to nine holes. And so we found that the pellets were way inside near the dolphin’s blow hole which is like a nose for humans. So, we believe the dolphin was choked by the impact of the bullets and that caused the immediate death of the dolphin.   I continue to talk to the person assisting us in the community and he informed me that he believes it was a fisherman from the other community which is the Progresso community. So he believes it was done by a fisherman slash hunter who used to hunt in the area.  He continued by telling me that this person didn’t care about the indefensive animal that is not causing any problem to the community but rather provides a beauty to the lagoon seeing the dolphin around. There were two dolphins in the lagoon and that one was shot.”


Andrea Polanco

“What can you tell us about the bottlenose dolphin – it is endangered? Is it protected? What do we know about this species in Belize?”


Leomir Santoya

“Yes this is a protected species and they are protected under the laws of Belize. There is a penalty if you are found guilty of killing a marine mammal and that could be a fine of up to five thousand dollars and so they are a protected species. In the Corozal Bay which connects with the Progresso-Little Belize Lagoon we have information that there is approximately fifty bottlenose dolphins that use the area.”


Santoya is appealing to the public to come forward with information that they may have about the killing of this dolphin. 

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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