Posted by: The ocean update | July 7, 2015

Scientists Try To Determine What Killed 3 Sea Mammals Washed Ashore On SF’s Ocean Beach (California, USA)

Dolphin washes ashore Ocean Beach in San Francisco. (Joey DeRuy)

Dolphin washes ashore Ocean Beach in San Francisco. (Joey DeRuy)

July 7th, 2015. SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Marine scientists are trying to figure out why several marine mammals washed ashore Ocean Beach in San Francisco, Monday.

At least one elephant seal, a sea lion, and a full-grown, male bottlenose dolphin with superficial scars were discovered. Photographs taken by passerby Joey DeRuy shows fisherman unfazed by the dolphin carcass.

Cesar Rivera and his children saw it, though. He said it was heartbreaking.

“They’re beautiful animals and to see them just like, lying dead there, it touches me you know,” said Rivera.

National Parks Service rangers arrived to haul the dolphin and sea lion onto the back of a pick-up truck. The elephant seal carcass remained on the beach as of Monday evening.

Research biologist from the Marine Mammel Center said the dolphin was nine feet long, and weighed more than 700 pounds. They want to know what killed him, but said so far, there was no clear sign of death.

“We’ll look at every organ. We’ll try to look for signs of disease and we’ll connect samples for studies,” said biologist Lauren Rust. “We don’t exactly know, it could be change in prey, change in water temperature. There could be a lot of factors that could change there.”

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