Florida's Famed 'Beggar' The Dolphin Found Dead; 'A Local Icon And Tourist Attraction For Over Two Decades'
Source: Underwatertimes.com news service
SARASOTA, Florida -- One of Sarasota's most well known and ill-fed dolphins was found dead near the Albee Road Bridge in Sarasota on Friday, 9-21-12. Known as "Beggar," the bottlenose dolphin was one of the most studied wild dolphins in the world and an example of how human behavior can sometimes hurt wild animals.
Beggar frequented the Albee Road Bridge area of the Intracoastal Waterway, often approaching and being approached by boaters who fed and attempted to pet him. He was the subject of numerous scientific papers and public education campaigns designed to help humans learn that feeding and petting wild dolphins is bad for the animals. It is also illegal under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Violations can be prosecuted in civil or criminal court and are punishable by up to $100,000 in fines and up to one year in jail per violation. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently prosecuted three such cases in Florida.