Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Uncommon dolphin washed up on shore

Rarely seen dolphin washes up on beach

Young member of odd species washes up Sunday in Corona del Mar.

By PAT BRENNAN The Orange County Register

A juvenile of a rarely seen dolphin species that lacks a dorsal fin washed up on the beach at Corona del Mar on Sunday and was being cared for at Sea World on Monday.

The thin, ailing northern right whale dolphin was suffering from cold because of its lack of blubber, said Michele Hunter, director of operations at the Friends of the Sea Lion Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach.

These black dolphins have smooth backs instead of the pointy fins more typical of other dolphin species.

One of the volunteers at the center drove the dolphin to Sea World in San Diego, while another kept it wet. A team of Sea World specialists was ready when the dolphin arrived, Hunter said.
It was tube-fed there and had been swimming on its own in a heated pool during the night but was placed in a support after growing fatigued, Hunter said.

She said her rescue group had seen only one other member of the species, an adult rescued in March that lived only a few hours.

The reason for the more recent dolphin's poor condition was unknown Monday, but tests were being conducted, Hunter said.

Quick "Facts about Dolphins"