Coney Island Dolphin Feared Dead After Stranding in NYC Creek

Friday, 15 Nov 2013 10:06 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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Police and wildlife officials who planned to try again early Friday to free the distressed dolphin that got stranded in a shallow inlet off the Coney Island Creek on Thursday now fear the animal is dead.

Conservation groups, NYPD officers, and firefighters flocked to the inlet at Cropsey Avenue and Bay 54th Street around 11 a.m. Thursday after the dolphin was spotted circling the water.

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"If they get in really shallow water, they can get stressed out," police Lt. Barry Duignan told WCBS 880. "He could be sick for having swam into such a shallow body of water like this."

Workers from Long Island's Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation tried to coax the dolphin out of the narrow body of water on the northwest side of Coney Island. At one point, the dolphin attempted to beach itself on the shore, and then disappeared underwater.

"If he’s debilitated, it may not be good," Paul Sieswarda, who was the curator of the New York Aquarium on Coney Island for 20 years, told WCBS 880. "If he’s in good shape and the tide comes in and he swims out, it will be OK."

The rescue teams left Thursday evening, hoping the rising tide would allow the dolphin to swim back up into the Coney Island Creek. They planned to return Friday to check on the animal.

"They tend not to come this far up — polluted waterway like this — if they’re not looking for a place to die," Patricia Sener, a New Yorker who works nearby, told WCBS 880. "We all want a positive outcome and we want to try to help, but it seems like the best thing to do is to let Mother Nature take her course."

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