Dolphin Dies on Texas Beach after Being Harrassed by Crowd

Ines May

According to the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network (TMMSN), a dolphin died on Sunday, 10th April, after being stranded alive on Quintana beach, Texas.

The animal was reportedly pushed back to the sea, where people tried to ride the dolphin and take photos. Once again, the dolphin was stranded back on the beach and was harassed by beachgoers. Photos posted by the TMMSN show people surrounding the dolphin and petting them. The animal died before rescuers got to the beach.

The Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) prohibits harassing marine mammals in the wild in the United States. Any kind of activity that can injure or disturb these animals in the wild constitutes a violation of the MMPA. Penalties include fines of up to $11,000, and up to 1 year in prison.

Unfortunately, these strandings are not that uncommon. Dolphins can strand because they are old, injured, sick, or simply disorientated. This is why pushing the animal back to the sea is not usually a good option. In this case, the dolphin stranded at Quintana beach was taken to a necropsy to better understand the reason for the stranding.

If you ever see a stranded dolphin or whale in Texas, call 1-800-9MAMMAL (1-800-962-6625) for help on how to support the animal until the rescue team arrives. It's vital to keep the animal wet by applying water (but avoid getting water on the blowhole) or using wet toils. Do not attempt to push the animal back to the sea, and try to keep other people (and animals) away from it, as well.

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Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. Writing about wildlife, pets, and animal-related diseases.

California State
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