The Riverhead Foundation responded Tuesday morning to a report of a dead dolphin found on the beach west of the inlet in Montauk near Gosman’s Dock, according to the foundation’s rescue program director, Kim Durham.
The report was called in by the harbormaster, Ms. Durham said, at about 8:30 a.m., and a team left from Riverhead at roughly 9 a.m.
“We’re thinking it’s a common dolphin,” she said of the species, comparing it to other species like bottleneck or striped dolphin. “They typically have short beaks.”
Ms. Durham said she would not be able to determine the animal’s cause of death immediately, but would have a clearer understanding of how it died once it is brought in for a necropsy.
“Often, unless there’s something obviously external, whether it be a wound, or some fishery interaction, we really can’t determine until we do necropsy,” she said. “But we could say, just by looking at it, this animal is skinny although there’s food in the area. This animal wasn’t eating, and that could be any number of things.”
Ms. Durham said dolphins in the area also tend to die from respiratory infections, but could not speculate about this dolphin specifically.