TOFINO (NEWS 1130) – What’s believed to be a long-beaked common dolphin has died after it got stranded on a beach in the Pacific Rim National Park.
According to the Vancouver Aquarium, Parks Canada staff members try to get the animal to float and swim away, but they were unable to do so. Following their attempts, they are said to have kept the dolphin in shallow water until the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre team arrived.
“The number of people who worked together in an effort to save this animal was fantastic,” Lindsaye Akhurst, manager of the Rescue Centre, said in a release.
Members got to the beach within a few hours of being called, but it was too late.
“Unfortunately, the dolphin was in critical condition, and shortly after beginning the transport back to the Rescue Centre in Vancouver, it stopped breathing,” the release reads.
Researchers say long-beaked common dolphins are rarely seen in the waters off of BC or Washington state. According to the aquarium, these types of dolphins typically live in tropical and sub-tropical regions. They can be seen in parts of Africa, much of western South America, central California to Mexico, Peru and near Japan, Korea, and Taiwan.
“Models are predicting that species will be moving further north as ocean temperatures rise. So what was once considered very rare could well become quite common,” Dr. Andrew Trites with the University of British Columbia’s Marine Mammal Research Unit says in a release. “In science and government, we’ll have to understand that the status quo is a thing of the past and adapt to seeing new species.”
A necropsy is planned to help determine what caused the dolphin’s death.