Saturday, February 16, 2008

Beaching itself is never a good thing for dolphins!

A teen checking out surf conditions Feb. 14 about 4 p.m. onDiamond Beach near Raleigh Avenue discovered a beached Striped Dolphin.

Lower Township Animal Control Officer Don Montgomery responded along withWildwood Crest Police.

The Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine was called. Volunteer DougFord arrived and began placing wet towels on the dolphin, which had bloodygashes on its stomach.

Marine Mammal Stranding Center Director Bob Schoelkopf said the dolphin diedshortly after his staff arrived on scene. The dolphin’s carcass has beenshipped New Bolten Center at the University of Pennsylvania VeterinarySchool in Chester, Pa for a necropsy to determine the cause of death, hesaid.

Schoelkopf said the dolphin was female. The age of the dolphin will bedetermined by the necropsy, he said.

Striped Dolphins are deep-sea animals.

“When they come ashore, it is usually to die or they wash up dead,” saidSchoelkopf.

He said gashes on the dolphin may have come from it scraping along jettiesas it neared the beach. The dolphin would not have come ashore unless it wassick or injured, said Schoelkopf.

The center seeks to train local volunteers to assist in marine mammals.Those interested can contact the center at 609-266-0538 or visit the Website:

Quick "Facts about Dolphins"