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Fraternity Offers Aid in Whale Graffiti Probe

The fraternity whose Greek letters were found spray painted onto a dead whale on an Atlantic City beach is offering their help to police.


Vandalized whale on the beach in Atlantic City
Vandalized whale on the beach in Atlantic City (Troy Platt, Marine Mammal Stranding Center)

In a statement posted to the fraternity’s national website, Tau Epsilon Phi calls it a “reprehensible act,” calling it a ‘direct contradiction with our mission statement.” The frat says they do not know if any of their members were responsible for painting “ΤΕΦ” in purple on the underside of the whale found dead under Central Pier.

Tau Epsilon Phi has active chapters at Rutgers University’s Camden campus and at Rowan University. Several New York colleges and the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia also have chapters in the area.

The whale was found Thursday morning, one of 3 manatee whales found washed up on Atlantic City beaches during the week according to the Press of Atlantic CIty. Atlantic City Police and the NOAA Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement are conducting an investigation and ask anyone with information to call  609-390-8303.

Tau Epsilon Phi is also conducting an investigation. “As a national organization, we are just as appalled as everyone else about this,” attorney Jesse Cohen told the Press of Atlantic City.

The 12-15 foot whale was buried on the beach after an attempt at an autopsy. The Marine Mammal Stranding Center tells the Star-Ledger the body was too badly decomposed for a successful procedure.

Full Statement from Tau Epsilon Phi

On May 1, 2014, the letters of Tau Epsilon Phi (ΤΕΦ)appear to have been used in a reprehensible act in which a deceased whale was vandalized in Atlantic City, New Jersey. While we don’t know if any of our members were involved, we have been in contact with the authorities and have offered our assistance in their investigations. This act is in direct contradiction with our mission statement and our teachings of friendship, chivalry and service, and we wholeheartedly condemn it.



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