The Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation has released the necropsy results of the dolphin who sadly died in the Gowanus Canal on Friday, and the findings show that the water’s pollution was most likely not the cause of death.
The preliminary findings of the five-hour procedure, released in a statement on Facebook, indicate an overall “chronic debilitated health condition” including stomach ulcerations, kidney stones, and parasites. Taken in consideration with the estimated age (about 25-30 years) and small size of the dolphin, it appears that he was in trouble before he had even reached the contaminated waters. DNAinfo reports:
There was no evidence that the dolphin had ingested toxins from the canal, which probably would have left burn marks or lesions inside the animal’s mouth or on the sensitive tissue around its blow hole, [rescue program director Kimberly] Durham said. There was no evidence of those injuries, Durham said. There were also no indications that the dolphin drowned or swallowed large quantities or water.
First responders decided not to attempt a rescue and instead waited for high tide to see if the dolphin would find his own way out. The decision was met with outrage after the dolphin’s death, a sampling of which has been left on the foundation’s Facebook page. Addigallia Lyon states, “Is [sic] a shame that the individuals who are the guardians of our wild life are afraid to put on protective gear in order to do their jobs.” Jac Jordan-Rony demands, “So you stood by and did NOTHING??”
With the facts in front of us, it seems that saving the dolphin’s life would have been unlikely even if he had been taken out of the waters.
Photo credit Brandon Rosenblum/Gothamist