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Common dolphin stranded on Oak Street beach, 10th PMMC dolphin response in 2020

On Wednesday morning, a dolphin that had been seen behaving strangely in the water at Oak Street beach ended up stranding on the beach and eventually passing away.

Events and Public Relations Coordinator for Pacific Mammal Marine Center (PMMC) Krysta Higuchi reports, “What we know is that the dolphin was reported alive and swimming erratically before stranding. Sadly the dolphin passed on her own before the team arrived. PMMC is currently conducting the necropsy (animal autopsy) on this particular animal. It is an adult, female Common dolphin. She was in good body condition so nothing stands out right now on the cause of death or stranding. We may not know full COD until the necropsy results have been analyzed. This is the 10th dolphin PMMC has responded to in 2020.”

Update: After the initial report, Stu News received this update from PMMC: 

“During the necropsy, our veterinary team found a mummified fetus. What we believe may be the cause of death is the fetus died and with the dolphin unable to pass the fetus, it caused the uterus to become infected and spread systemically which lead to sepsis. We are still sending out samples so the definitive cause is still pending per the histopathology results.”

Common dolphin beach

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Submitted photo

Stranded dolphin at 8:40 a.m. on Wednesday at Oak St Beach

 PMMC has rescued and responded to over 102 marine mammals this year, including seals, sea lions, dolphins, and one pygmy sperm whale. PMMC is currently taking care of 40 animals.

Higuchi says, “We would like to give a shout out to the public that knew not to push the animal back into the water. These animals strand for a reason and pushing her back could do more harm than good, especially given she had been swimming erratically beforehand.”

PMMC rescues, rehabilitates, and releases marine mammals and inspires ocean stewardship through research, education, and collaboration.

Right now PMMC is in the middle of its annual fish drive, a vital fundraiser to raise funds to feed patients, but because of COVID-19, PMMC’s efforts have been hit hard. 

Any little bit helps, $1=1 pound of fish! Text FISH to 41444 or click here for more information. During its busy season, PMMC can go through 500 - 1,000 pounds of fish per day. PMMC’s goal is to raise $50,000 to feed its patients.

Amid COVID-19 concerns and in an abundance of caution, PMMC is temporarily closed to the public.