Dolphin necropsy shows preliminary causes of death

January 28, 2013 2:29:55 PM PST
The Riverhead Foundation conducted the necropsy on the Gowanus dolphin on Sunday. They said there's no indication the contaminated water in the Gowanus Canal contributed to its death.

The results are preliminary and an exact cause of death is pending toxicology and pathology tests.

Kimberly Durham, a biologist and the Rescue Program Director, conducted the necropsy.

She found that the dolphin was a male adult common dolphin, around 25-30 years old, 7 feet, 343 pounds..

The dolphin was very sick and had been dealing with several issues for some time.

The dolphin had ulcerations in the stomach and along the tongue and showed no signs of having eaten recently. There were no squid or fish bones in its system.

The dolphin also had parasites in its stomach, liver and GI tract.

It also had kidney stones. One of the kidneys was heavily compromised by the stones.

Durham said the dolphin had these issues long before it entered the canal. They were chronic.

Common dolphins usually travel in pods off shore in the ocean, and are almost never seen in NY Harbor. A compromised animal wouldn't be able to keep up with the pod, which is why it likely swam into the Harbor and then the canal.

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