Survivalist Gary Golding is reportedly under investigation after a video showed the Naked and Afraid veteran cutting open a deceased baby dolphin and eating some of its organs.
Laguna Beach Lifeguards and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are looking into whether he violated the Marine Mammal Protection Act while at Aliso Beach in California.
"We’re looking into the details of this incident" Laguna Beach Lifeguard Capt. Kai Bond told the Orange County Register. "We are in a Marine Protected Area and he may have violated the Marine Mammal Protection Act."
When reached by Yahoo Entertainment on Wednesday, a spokesman for NOAA Fisheries said, "It is standard NOAA practice not to discuss or confirm any potential or ongoing investigations."
Bond said his team became aware of the incident after the video was posted on TMZ. In the disturbing clip, Golding said he wanted to open up the dead dolphin to see if it has ingested any "plastics" or "balloons."
"Hey, I'm the scavenger on Naked and Afraid, right? So I'm going to live up to what I do. I'm going to eat dolphin heart and I guess I'll eat what you'd call dolphin back scrap," the Discovery Channel star explained as he cut open the mammal. "I'm not letting this poor creature just die for nothing and go to waste. I'm going to nourish myself with it."
Golding, known as the "Tarzan of Los Angeles," headed to his grill where he declared, "Time to cook some dolphin."
"Dolphin meat on the grill, look at that," he said before biting into the heart. "Definitely gamey, maybe not seasoned the best."
He continued, "On the beach in Southern California, literally eating baby dolphin. I've never done that before, I've never seen that done before."
Discovery Channel reps aren't commenting. However, the video is not part of anything having to do with the show Naked and Afraid. On Wednesday, Golding addressed the scandal on social media saying he just learned you should "never eat a dead dolphin off the beach" as "researchers need to test them."
The Humane Society condemned Golding's actions in a statement this week.
"The Humane Society of the United States strongly condemns the alleged conduct of a Naked and Afraid contestant who was recently seen apparently slicing into the body of a dead dolphin on a California beach. Not only is eating a dead marine mammal disturbing, but it is also potentially illegal," Sabrina Ashjian, California State Director at the Humane Society of the United States, said in a press release.
"Violations of the US Marine Mammal Protection Act could be punishable by tens of thousands of dollars in fines and a year in jail," she continued. "The HSUS urges the federal government through the National Marine Fisheries Service to investigate the allegations against Gary Golding and to bring appropriate charges if the news report is accurate."
"There is no place for this act of sheer barbarism in a civilised society. Gary Golding's complete disdain for protecting vulnerable animals is a shocking low," added Sara Amundson, president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund. "We condemn this alleged conduct and urge the National Marine Fisheries Service to swiftly investigate this horrific act to bring justice."