Friday, October 7, 2011

'Let the punishment match the crime'

Bad enough some people are crazy, cruel and murderous toward one another. Worse when they practice on defenseless animals.

News that a 10-11 foot long whale had been shot somewhere off the East Coast, then died a long, lingering death from starvation, hit hard this week. It surprised even Bob Schoelkopf, founding director of the Brigantine-based Marine Mammal Stranding Center.

He reportedly told the Star-Ledger that this is the first time in his 33-year career that someone has shot a whale.

The short-finned pilot whale beached himself at Allenhurst, a small Monmouth county town north of Asbury Park, on Sept. 24. He weighed more like 700 pounds than the usual 1,000 pounds. Soon after help was summoned, the whale died.

A necropsy performed at the U of P disclosed a gunshot wound near the whale’s blow hole. The bullet, which may have come from a .30-caliber rifle, was recovered from his jaw. Lodged there, it had caused an infection that left the animal unable to eat – for about a month, the time the animal took to lose the weight.

“It was wandering around and slowly starving to death because of the infection,” Schoelkopf said, according to “Who would do that to an innocent animal?”

At least one federal agency will be trying to find out. . . . (please click below to continue)

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