Saturday, June 09, 2007

Another beached dolphin!

A dead dolphin that had apparently beached itself or washed ashore overnight was found on a York River beach near Gloucester Point this morning.Area resident Robert Rooks and a neighbor, Harry Borbe, notified the nearby Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences, which called in the Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response team from Virginia Beach.

Rooks said he and Borbe were walking their dogs about 8 a.m. when they spotted the bottlenose dolphin. The animal was not on the beach last night, he said. The beach is just north of the Coleman Bridge.The dolphin was an older adult female. Maggie Cook, head of the response team, said it is not unusual to find marine animals stranded on the beaches, especially this time of year as the weather warms. Last year, the team recovered more than 90 marine animals in the Hampton Roads area, she said. Most of those were dead.

The dolphin was estimated to weigh about 300 pounds and the team was on the beach around noon positioning the animal on a litter so it could be hoisted to a truck. Volunteers and neighbors worked with the team to move the dolphin, and a garden tractor was brought in to also help.The aquarium officials planned to perform a necropsy to determine how the animal died.

Quick "Facts about Dolphins"