Dolphin mutilations treble

Date: 3/2/2009

The number of mutilated Hector’s and Maui’s dolphins found on New Zealand’s coastline has more than tripled in the past three decades, Department of Conservation statistics show. There were five cases from the 1980s, 14 from the 1990s and 17 since 2000. Mutilations included: bellies slit open, heads/tails/tail flukes/fins cut off, filleted, gutted. Hector’s dolphins are an endangered species and Maui’s dolphins are critically endangered with just 111 individuals left. The government announced measures to protect Hector’s and Maui’s dolphins in mid 2008.

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