Jersey City animal control, ESU unit, other authorities rescue dolphin, which has since died


Jersey City animal control, the police department’s emergency services unit and other authorities teamed up to rescue a dolphin yesterday, but the mammal has unfortunately died since then.

Photo courtesy of the Liberty Humane Society.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

Yesterday, at approximately 3:45 p.m. the Liberty Humane Society Animal Response Team (ART) received a call from a resident who was walking his dog and noticed a dolphin washing up on the rocks near 25 Hudson Street in Jersey City, according to the Liberty Humane Society.

LHS Animal Control Officer Mike Smith was dispatched to the scene and ACO Supervisor Brittany Pieretti reached out to the Marine Mammal Stranding Center (MMSC) for advice and support, officials said.

The MMSC asked that we provide support to the dolphin, keeping him upright so he could breathe and holding him in place to prevent him from hitting the rocks, while they dispatched a team to Jersey City.

Jersey City ESU was contacted to assist with crowd control and Smith stood in the water using a sheet to keep the dolphin secure for more than two hours while MMSC made the drive from Brigantine.

MMSC arrived at approximately 7 p.m. and the dolphin was loaded into a temporary dolphin holding tank on their truck. MMSC indicated that the next steps would be a vet exam and bloodwork.

“Dolphins, whales, seals, and other marine mammals have made a return to New York and New Jersey waterways due to improving water quality. It is not uncommon to spot these animals from the Jersey City coastline this time of year,” said LHS Executive Director Irene Borngraeber.

“If you see a marine mammal that appears to be injured or beached please contact the Animal Response Team (ART) so we can assess the situation and secure rescue assistance from the appropriate specialists.”

Unfortunately, MMSC Director Bob Schoelkopf confirmed with HCV that the animal, which was severely underweight, has since perished.

“The animal has died and is at the state for an autopsy to see what the causes were. The animal was probably 100 pounds underweight,” he said over the phone.

“We typically don’t pick up animals in the Hudson, but when an animal starts beaching itself, it’s considered stranded so we made the three hour drive to investigate,” he added, noting that MMSC handles calls throughout the state.

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