22 May 2017

Dead striped dolphin

Today a striped dolphin was found dead near Galaxidi. Our friend Chrisoula Papalexi alerted us and Nikos Stanzouris helped us do a quick necropsy before the dolphin was buried.

The animal was a young female, 1 m 34 cm long. She had a large wound of unknown origin near her right eye, and the tip of the upper jaw was broken.
We contacted our friends Prof. Bruno Cozzi and Prof. Sandro Mazzariol, veterinary experts from the University of Padua, Italy, who have a lot of experience on dolphin strandings. They could not identify the cause of mortality based on photos of the wound. A gun shot should have exited from the opposite side, but there was no enter/exit hole (or bullet inside). Explosives would have left solid fragments that were not present, and produced a different damage. Finally, there was no sign of entanglement in fishing gear. The wounds might be postmortem, perhaps caused in part by animals, and/or rocks and other debris following the stranding. But at present there is no certainty and this is just preliminary speculation.

Information on striped dolphins living in the Gulf of Corinth can be found in the paper below:

Bearzi G., Bonizzoni S., Santostasi N.L., Furey N.B., Eddy L., Valavanis V.D., Gimenez O. 2016. Dolphins in a scaled-down Mediterranean: the Gulf of Corinth's odontocetes. Pp. 297-331 in Mediterranean Marine Mammal Ecology and Conservation (G. Notarbartolo di Sciara, M. Podestà and B.E. Curry, eds). Advances in Marine Biology, Vol. 75, Academic Press, Oxford.

(Photos by G. Bearzi)

No comments: