Biologist: Dolphin in NY canal was sickly and old

January 28, 2013

A dolphin surfaces in the Gowanus Canal in the Brooklyn borough of New York, Friday, Jan. 25, 2013. The New York City Police Dept. said animal experts were waiting to see if the dolphin would leave on its own during the evening's high tide. A wayward dolphin that meandered into a polluted urban canal, riveting onlookers as it splashed around in the filthy water and shook black gunk from its snout, died Friday evening, marine experts said. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
(AP)—A marine biologist says an aging dolphin that was stranded in a polluted New York canal and died there was ill and might not have survived anywhere.
A dolphin surfaces in the Gowanus Canal in the Brooklyn borough of New York, Friday, Jan. 25, 2013. The New York City Police Dept. said animal experts were waiting to see if the dolphin would leave on its own during the evening's high tide. If not, they plan to lend a hand on Saturday morning. A wayward dolphin that meandered into a polluted urban canal, riveting onlookers as it splashed around in the filthy water and shook black gunk from its snout, died Friday evening, marine experts said. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Kim Durham of the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation on Long Island conducted a post-mortem exam of the wayward mammal. She says the dolphin suffered from a series of chronic conditions: , and parasites.

Durham says the 7-foot male weighing about 340 pounds struggled before it died on Friday in Brooklyn's Gowanus (guh-WAH'-nuhs) Canal, splashing around and shaking black gunk from its snout. The canal is a Superfund site, where for years factories and fuel refineries operated.

The dolphin likely entered the canal from the Atlantic Ocean and got pinned at low tide.

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