Dolphins Mysteriously Dying on Long Island Beaches in High Numbers
Local News, Nature & Weather
By Joe Randazzo
Published: August 03 2013
This month beached dolphins became an almost daily occurrence. This is an unusually high number as only two washed up on Long Island shores last year.
An aquatic mystery has arose on the shores of Long Island. Dolphins have been washing up between the beaches of Queens and Montauk in high numbers. This summer has been a bad one for beached dolphins but the month of July has been the roughest. On an almost a daily basis a dolphin was found dead and experts aren’t sure why. Sometimes more than one dolphin in a day was reported. This is a frightening trend as all of last July only three dolphins were found washed up on Long Island shores.
"The individual is being challenged, It’s not eating, and it’s losing weight and suffering from parasites," Riverhead Foundation Rescue Program Director Kimberly Dunham said of the dolphins they found in an interview to CBS. "These are all normal factors, but is there something that is relating them all together?"
The Riverhead Foundation, located in the Long Island Aquarium, has been on the case since the deaths started. So far there’s been no evidence of illness and forensic exams show the dolphins aren’t suffering from manmade injury. When the Riverhead Foundation suspected an infection or some sort of pollution in the water, they went to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. According to the DEC, the water has been fine.
One of the dolphins found by the Riverhead Foundation, which survived its beaching, was a Risso’s dolphin they named Roxanne. Roxanne was found on an Ocean Beach sandbar severely underweight. After being rescued Roxanne was transported to a medical tank in the Long Island Aquarium. She’s been healthy and eating more than 80 pounds of squid per day to keep her weight up. The Riverhead foundation has created an adoption page for Roxanne. While you don’t get to bring a dolphin home, you help pay for Roxanne’s food and any other expenses needed to take care of her.
Other Dolphins have not been as lucky as Roxanne. On July 9 the Riverhead Foundation‘s reported they received a call for two stranded dolphins that day. One was out in Montauk and another in between Jones Beach State Park and Tobay Beach. The dolphin in Montauk died before they were able to get there and the Dolphin found near Jones Beach had to be put down because the injuries it sustained were too severe.