2012-10-05 / Top Stories

Beached Far Rockaway Dolphin Dies

By Howard Schwach

The dying dolphin lies on the beach at Beach 19 Street in Far Rockaway. The dying dolphin lies on the beach at Beach 19 Street in Far Rockaway. Medical specialists were unable to save a dolphin that washed up on a Rockaway beach on Friday and it died on the way to a Long Island treatment center, sources say.

Rego Park resident Franly Estrella, 24, first spotted the 140-pound dolphin lying on the oceanfront at Beach 19 Street at about 9:30 a.m., on September 28.

Estrella, who works at a boardwalk building, told reporters that he first thought that it was a shark, but as he approached it, he could see it was a 6- foot-long dolphin.

Estrella attempted to push the mammal back into the ocean, but it floated right back to shore, too weak to swim.

Experts at the Riverhead Foundation say that the dolphin was a young female.

Estrella called 911 and police contacted the Riverhead Foundation, which sent a rescue crew to take the ailing dolphin back to its Long Island facility, but it died in transit, officials say.

“It appears that it had been sick for a long time,” said Robert Di Giovanni, senior biologist with the foundation. “She was underweight and it appears from the growths on its fluke that it wasn’t swimming in a healthy manner before it beached.”

The dolphin died at about 3:15 p.m. while being transported to the veterinarian tank at the foundation, officials there say.

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