The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has posted a reward of $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons who murdered Jane Tipson in St. Lucia last week.

Captain Paul Watson has notified the St. Lucia police of the reward.

The crime scene was contaminated by police officers and little forensic evidence was found. The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is hopeful that the reward, a substantial sum in St. Lucia, will bring forth someone with information or evidence relating to the murder.

Jane Tipson, a dedicated conservationist and animal rights activist, was murdered as she drove onto her property in St. Lucia around 1:30am on Wednesday, September 17, 2003. She was shot in the head at close range.

The murder was clearly a contract killing. There is some question as to who was involved and why they would want Jane killed. An article about Jane's murder appeared in the London Times Sunday edition on page three and there they eluded to the probability that the contract killing was carried out because of her work against the Dolphin Fantaseas plans to create a dolphin encounter tourist attraction in St. Lucia and other islands in the Caribbean region. This group has a very shady past and currently has dolphin encounter operations in Anguilla and Antigua.

Jane moved to St. Lucia from her native Devonshire England some 30 years ago. She was co-founder of the Eastern Caribbean Coalition for Environmental Awareness and was responsible for the ECCEA regional program in St. Lucia. She also created the Whale and Dolphin Watching Association and was responsible for the development of a now flourishing whale-watching industry in St.Lucia. She was tireless in her leadership of many anti-captivity campaigns. She founded and dedicated her time and virtually all of her income to the St Lucia Animal Protection Society (SLAPS) protecting and caring for hundreds of wild and domestic animals in a way few people have ever done.

As is the case with many Environmental and Animal Activists, there was an ongoing attempt to discredit Jane and she was continuously harassed and threatened by those whose profit at any cost methods were threatened by her activities. We all, especially the animals, have lost another truly wonderful person to the greed and corruption of those who profit at the expense of the animals and the environment. Jane would want us to continue the fight for conservation and protection of the animals and we must do just that.

Jane Tipson was very helpful to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in the summer of 2001 when the Sea Shepherd flagship Ocean Warrior was in Castries Harbor investigating illegal whaling activities in St. Lucia.

Captain Paul Watson responding to news of her murder said, "Because of the enemies Jane made in high places, and because of her efforts to help animals in St. Lucia, I fear that the investigation into her death will not be a priority. There was certainly no care to protect the integrity of the crime scene and valuable forensic evidence was lost because of the police. I remember my life being threatened when Sea Shepherd's ship was last in St. Lucia, and my experience there illustrates to me just what a courageous heroine Jane was in continuing to champion the animals and habitats in the face of very real threats of violence."

This story was contributed by Sea Shepherd St. Lucia representative Dean Walton

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