Dead Dolphin Washes Ashore In OC

Dead Dolphin Washes Ashore In OC
Ocean City Public Works employees are pictured removing the dead dolphin last weekend. Photo by Colleen B. Reilly Photography

OCEAN CITY — The natural circle of life was on full display in the resort last week with a decomposed bottlenose dolphin removed from the beach days after three rehabilitated sea turtles were successfully re-released into the ocean.

Last Saturday, a badly decomposed bottlenose dolphin washed up on the beach around 98th Street in Ocean City. The dolphin’s cause of death was not immediately known although it appeared to have been deceased for some time.

Ocean City Public Works Department crews removed the dolphin carcass from the shoreline using heavy equipment including a backhoe. Public Works Director Hal Adkins said it was not unusual for deceased dolphins and other marine mammals to wash up on the beach occasionally.

“We remove plus or minus five to 10 mammals on average per year that wash up,” he said. “The far majority are deceased and in some state of decay. We bring them back to the Public Works complex to a specific staging area. We contact the state, which normally dispatches staff to perform a necropsy to determine the cause of death. We then dispose of the carcass at the landfill.”

The bottlenose dolphin was removed from the beach last Saturday just days after the National Aquarium’s animal rescue team successfully released three rehabilitated sea turtles off the coast of Ocean City, providing a snapshot of sorts of the natural circle of life in and around the seaside resort.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.