October 10, 2017
Three bottlenose dolphins were found dead along the Jersey Shore in the last week.
Bob Schoelkopf, director of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine, said Tuesday that the first dolphin was found washed ashore in Sea Bright, Monmouth County, a week ago. The stranding center is still awaiting test results to determine a cause of death, he said.
Another dolphin was initially alive when it came to shore in Sea Isle City, Cape May County, on Sunday morning, but it died in the surf shortly after, the stranding center said in a Facebook post.
The third dolphin was found Monday in Sea Girt, Monmouth County, and had been dead for at least a week, Schoelkopf said.
The dolphin discovered in Sea Isle suffered from encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain, Schoelkopf said. The third found in Sea Girt was too badly decomposed to determine a cause of death, he said.
A pygmy sperm whale and her young calf also washed ashore in Brigantine last week. They were later euthanized, Schoelkopf said.
Wind and rough surf can push marine life toward the shore, particularly weaker animals, he said.