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Necropsy Reveals Dolphin That Died In Gowanus Canal Had String Of Health Problems

Animal Likely Succumbed To Kidney Stones, Gastric Ulcers And Parasites
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) — The dolphin that died after getting stranded in the Gowanus Canal on Friday may have been too sick to be saved.

A necropsy, conducted by Kimberly Durham of the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation, determined the animal was male, middle-aged and sickly.

“One of the kidneys was heavily affected by kidney stones. There is also the indication of gastric ulcers within the stomach and also parasites. A lot of these findings are consistent findings with a compromised older animal,” Durham told 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera.

The 340-pound, seven-foot-long dolphin struggled for hours before it finally died.

Durham said the findings indicated the dolphin was an “aged animal” and in “general poor health.”

The wayward animal stopped moving shortly after 5:30 p.m. Friday after getting wedged between a rock and a pillar below the Union Street Bridge.

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

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.

Share your thoughts on the results of the necropsy in the comments section below…