Stranded dolphin dies during second rescue attempt in South Jersey creek

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Friday, May 24, 2024
Residents concerned over dolphin stuck in small creek in Cape May County
Residents concerned over dolphin stuck in small creek in Cape May County

CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE, New Jersey (WABC) -- A bottlenose dolphin that was stranded for at least a week in Cape May County creek died Friday during a second rescue attempt.

Officials with the Marine Mammal Stranding Center said the second rescue was attempted at Skeeter Island Creek, with over a dozen people and three boats.

An earlier attempt to liberate the dolphin without actually capturing it, using less-invasive herding techniques, was a failure. That prompted officials to attempt the second approach of trying to capture the animal, a maneuver that carries greater risk both for the dolphin and the rescuers.

Using boats, the dolphin was covered in a net and brought toward shore, but the animal promptly panicked and died within two minutes.

Marine Mammal Stranding Center

Video in player above from previous report.

"Our entire team is deeply saddened about this outcome," Marine Mammal Stranding Center said in a statement. "Out of habitat cetaceans are the most difficult scenario in marine mammal rescue. As animals that live in the open ocean, this type of habitat is foreign to them and causes immense stress, making the chances of rescue and survival slim."

The dolphin had been spotted in the creek by residents last week. No one knows though how the animal ended up in the small creek.

A necropsy is planned for the animal.

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