Lost deep-water dolphin calf euthanized on Fort Myers Beach early Wednesday
Rescuers worked for hours to save a rare deep-water dolphin calf stranded on Fort Myers Beach on Tuesday, but biologists finally decided she had to be put down.
It was a "tough and long night," said biologist Denise Boyd with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, who stayed with the baby until early Wednesday morning. The dependent calf "should still have been with mom," Boyd said, but instead wound up far from her species' natural range.
In her 14 years of working in this area, this was the first rough-toothed dolphin Boyd had ever seen.
Because she was emaciated and in such poor health, “We made the decision to humanely euthanize on-site,” said Michelle Kerr of the FWC's Fish and Wildlife Research Institute.
Biologists and bystanders started trying to help the year-or-so-old creature late Tuesday afternoon.
A post-mortem exam called a necropsy showed that she weighed 110 pounds and was 5½-feet long, though why she ended up on the southern part of Fort Myers Beach remains a mystery.