"Barbaric" French fishermen carved a homophobic slur into the side of a dolphin after it washed up in a coastal town.
Conservation campaigners claim the horrifying action was done as an insult to them after they demanded tougher rules.
Ocean defence NGO Sea Shepherd France claims the mammal washed up in Les Sables d'Olonnes, a beach on the west coast of the country.
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The environmental group posted stomach-churning images online that showed the brutal carvings.
It read ‘Sea Sheperd' and 'PD' – which is short for pédé, a derogatory term in France for gay men, as reported by the Daily Mail.
The caucus was publicly displayed by the group which was seen by the public including children on Sunday.
Sea Shepherd said in a tweet: “Stop overfishing. Eat less fish. Save the ocean. And future generations.”
Speaking to the Telegraph, a spokesperson said: “What a shame for the whole profession on which they discredit.
“It's carnage. We will not give up until there are concrete measures to save these dolphins.”
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The group has now filed a complaint with authorities over the mutilation of the protected species. They are calling for the attack to be investigated.
Sea Shepherds claim around 6,000 dolphins are caught and killed per year on the French west coast alone due to industrial fishing vessels.
The group has been calling for tighter regulations on fishing and wants the government to close areas where the species are most at risk.
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These are known as 'bycatch' and French fishermen have to declare them by law. Since December 370 dolphins have washed ashore and only 30 were recorded as bycatch.
Layma Essemlali, president of Sea Shepherd France, said: “The sea never stops throwing up the corpses of dolphins, captured by fishing gear.
“When the latter are mutilated, it is because they have either been eaten or the victims of an attempt to sink them to hide the evidence of capture.”
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