Dolphin Dies After Becoming Stranded on the Rockaways

By DNAinfo Staff  on September 28, 2012 11:57am  | Updated on September 28, 2012 4:30pm

FAR ROCKAWAYS — The stranded dolphin that was pulled from the shores of the Rockaways on Friday morning has died, officials said.

The female dolphin was taken to the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation on Long Island after emergency crews rescued it near Beach 19th Street, but it died there about 3:15 p.m., said Rob DiGiovanni, executive director and senior biologist for the Riverhead Foundation.

The cause of death was not immediately clear, but DiGiovanni said the dolphin was likely sick.

"She was underweight," DiGiovanni said. "It appears…she had been ill or compromised for a longer period of time." 

A passerby called 911 after noticing the dolphin about 9:30 a.m. Friday, prompting a response by the NYPD’s Emergency Services Unit and Harbor Patrol.

When crews pulled the dolphin from the water, it was "still alive and breathing," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said at an unrelated news conference at One Police Plaza.

The NYPD worked with the Riverhead Foundation and its Marine Animal Rescue Unit in an effort to save the dolphin's life.

ESU cops poured water on the dolphin to keep it moisturized until foundation workers transported it to Long Island to try to treat it.

On the way to Long Island, Riverhead Foundation workers gave the dolphin IV fluids and started to examine it, DiGiovanni said.

"We appreciate the efforts of all the people on the beach who were waiting with her," DiGiovanni said. "We just wish we had a more positive outcome."

The Riverhead Foundation asks that the public report stranded whales and dolphins by calling a 24-hour hotline, 631-369-9829.

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