Cause of Dolphin Death “Undetermined”


BTR reached out to FWC Marine Biologist Denise Boyd for an update on what caused the death of a dolphin found near Big Carlos Pass earlier this month. The preliminary report from the necropsy that was performed indicated the death as “undetermined.”

FWC was not immediately able to retrieve the deceased dolphin due to the “Post Mortem Attentive Behavior” being exhibited by another dolphin. According to an article in Yale Environment Review observations of this behavior included “dolphins maintaining constant physical contact with dead individuals. They swim around the dead body, sometimes nudging and attempting to push it underwater.

The body was eventually recovered on February 6th however it was badly decomposed. Boyd said there was “evidence of an injury/wound” which is being investigated as well as samples to determine the presence of any toxins. The report on the toxins will take weeks.

Please remember to report sick, injured or dead marine animals by calling FWC Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922), #FWC or *FWC from your cell phone or send a text to the hotline:


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