AMAGANSETT, Long Island — Scientists are trying to figure out what happened to two dolphins that washed ashore on Long Island last week, officials said Wednesday.
Two bottlenose dolphins were found dead in Amagansett, Long Island, according to the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society.
Both animals were longer than 6 feet, weighed between 250 and 300 pounds, were female and sexually immature, believed to be between the ages of 5 and 13, officials said.
The first dolphin was found by passersby on Oct. 6 at Atlantic Avenue, officials said. The second dolphin was found the next day at Napeague Lane.
Both animals had lacerations on their skin, which suggests they may have been entangled. The smaller dolphin had line impressions on its tailstock that appear similar to roping or netting.
Scientists performed necropsies for four and a half hours to determine what happened to the animals. In a statement Wednesday, officials said it’s still too early to determine the dolphins’ cause of death.
AMCS said this about their investigation:
“Necropsies are an important research effort that allows us to better understand different marine mammal and sea turtle species,” said AMCS Chief Scientist Rob DiGiovanni.
“Without understanding why animals are washing up dead we can not make informed decisions on our impacts. For these necropsies, we believe they may be an offshore species considering the size of these bottlenose dolphins that washed up in relation to their age, as well as their body condition being free of marks commonly found on inshore dolphins. Volunteers have been invaluable in these efforts, and so far this year we have responded to 109 marine mammals and sea turtles in New York State.”
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office of Law Enforcement is investigating the cases.