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Stranded dolphin dies on Texas beach after being 'harassed' by beachgoers

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Posted at 3:39 PM, Apr 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-15 08:48:49-04

A dolphin that was stranded alive on a Texas beach died after beachgoers harassed and attempted to ride her, according to a dolphin rescue.

The dolphin was stranded alive on Quintana Beach Sunday evening, and was pushed back to sea by beachgoers who then "attempted to swim with and ride the sick animal."

"She [was] ultimately stranded and was further harassed by a crowd of people on the beach where she later died before rescuers could arrive on scene," said the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network.

One beachgoer reported the stranding and Quintana Beach County Park staff came to assist in keeping the public away until rescuers arrived.

"This was a tragedy," said the park. "Unfortunately it was a retrieval, not a rescue. The animal was taken for necropsy to try and determine the cause of the stranding."

The Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network said harassment like this may cause undue stress to wild dolphins, and additionally is dangerous for the people who interact in such a way.

"If a live dolphin or whale strands in Texas, please do not push the animal back to sea, do not attempt to swim or interact with them, do not crowd them, and immediately call 1-800-9MAMMAL (1-800-962-6625) for guidance," said the dolphin rescue nonprofit.

According to the nonprofit, these actions can be illegal and are punishable by fines and jail time if convicted. To learn more about the harassment of wild dolphins click here.