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Dolphin That Died In Gowanus Canal Undergoes Postmortem Exam

Dolphin in the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn - Jan. 25, 2013 (credit: Alex Silverman / WCBS 880)

Dolphin in the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn – Jan. 25, 2013 (credit: Alex Silverman / WCBS 880)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The wayward dolphin that lost its way, ended up in the polluted Gowanus Canal and died was undergoing a postmortem exam Sunday.

The dolphin died Friday evening in the canal, which runs through Brooklyn, and is so polluted as to be considered a toxic superfund site.

Experts from the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation were conducting a necropsy on Sunday afternoon to determine the cause of death.

Results were not expected immediately.

The wayward animal was spotted in the canal Friday afternoon. It stopped moving shortly after 5:30 p.m. after getting wedged between a rock and a pillar below the Union Street Bridge, 1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon reported.

Witnesses said they saw the dolphin flop around and struggle and hit its head against a pillar before it stopped moving and began floating.

The NYPD Harbor and Emergency Service Units were on the scene along with marine mammal experts from the Riverhead Foundation. As Brooklynites gathered around, the dolphin stayed in one spot bobbing its head above the surface rhythmically before it eventually died.

In 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency called the canal “one of the most contaminated water bodies in the nation.”

Because of years of sewer outflows and industrial pollutants, the Gowanus Canal has been labeled a Superfund site by the EPA, CBS 2′s Sean Hennessey reported.

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