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Stranded dolphin in Poole Harbour “had no chance of survival”
THE stranded dolphin which rescuers attempted to save in Poole Harbour two weeks ago had no chance of survival.
Paddle boarder Andy Gratwick, with Charlie Gregory, helped by Carl Woodward, tried to save the life of the creature, which was found in just over a foot of water, by refloating it.
However the common dolphin was found dead on the beach at Baiter the next day and was taken away for post mortem examination.
Rob Deaville, project manager of the UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme at the Institute of Zoology, who carried out the examination, said its would-be rescuers did the right thing.
“If I had been on the beach that day, I’d have probably also said that this was a good candidate for refloat, as it looked in relatively good condition externally,” he said.
“But there was never going to be a good outcome. Unfortunately internally it was not too well.”
The post mortem examination revealed the adult male common dolphin had a stomach full of parasitic worms, probably preventing it from ingesting its prey, and more in its lungs.
It also showed signs of aberrant behaviour in having eaten a large quantity of seaweed and had a generalised septicaemic infection.
However further tests are being carried out on tissue.
He said the common dolphin population was doing quite well with hundreds of thousands of the marine creatures, which were normally found in pods further west, off Cornwall and Devon.
“Seeing a single common dolphin stranding in the harbour like this strongly suggests there’s something wrong with it,” he said.
Funded by Defra, the project looks at the threats these protected creatures face from man in UK waters, such as being caught in fishing nets or being struck by a ship.
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