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Stray dolphin in Cape May Court House creek dies during second rescue attempt

Stray dolphin in Skeeter Island Creek dies during second rescue attempt
Stray dolphin in Skeeter Island Creek dies during second rescue attempt 00:31

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A stray bottlenose dolphin that was stuck in a creek in Cape May Court House, New Jersey, died during a rescue attempt on Friday, the Marine Mammal Stranding Center said. The dolphin had been stuck in Skeeter Island Creek in Cape May Court House since last week. 

The MMSC had three boats and more than a dozen people involved in their second rescue attempt on Friday. The rescue agency said they conducted "a series of less-invasive tactics" to help guide the dolphin out of the creek without having to physically capture and handle the stray dolphin.

Physically capturing the dolphin during an in-water capture is dangerous and could be detrimental to the dolphin, stranding coordinators and rescuers, the MMSC said in a Facebook post. But once these attempts failed, the team of rescuers made the decision to initiate an in-water rescue. 

On the morning of May 24, 2024, the Marine Mammal Stranding Center, with the assistance of several State, Federal and...

Posted by Marine Mammal Stranding Center on Friday, May 24, 2024

During the in-water rescue, crews were able to capture the dolphin inside a net, but the dolphin panicked and died within two minutes. 

"As animals that live in the open ocean, this type of habitat is foreign to them and causes immense stress, making the chances of rescue and survival slim," the MMSC wrote in part in a Facebook post on Friday afternoon

The MMSC took the dolphin to the New Jersey Animal Health and Diagnostic Lab for a necropsy. 

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