That may be the most morbid blog post title ever. Warning: there are dead baby dolphin photos ahead. Look away now while you still have a chance.
After my camera died while I was exploring the beach during the unusually extreme low tide caused by the previous night’s so-called supermoon, I kept walking down toward the south end of the island. Eventually I wandered up away from the water’s edge toward some driftwood near the high-water mark left by the morning’s equally extraordinary high tide. Behind the chunks of driftwood my eyes picked up a large finned shape. “Man, that’s a big dead fish that washed up,” I started to think, but this was quickly replaced by “OH HOLY $#@& THAT IS A DEAD BABY DOLPHIN.”
It was about three feet long, and right in the middle a large round chunk had been taken out of its abdomen. Later I walked back down to look at it again with two of my coworkers (one of whom lent me her camera, if you’re wondering where the heck the photos came from if mine was busted), and the only explanation any of us could think of for that missing chunk was a bite from a big shark. If anyone has an alternate theories feel free to share them in the comments.
Hey, I did warn you.
Bottlenose dolphins are quite common around here, but all marine mammals, common or otherwise, are protected by law under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has a phone number for people to call to report dead or injured marine mammals, which I must admit is one phone number I thought I’d never need to know, but I looked it up on their website when I got home. A woman took my name and phone number, and a few minutes later a DNR officer in the area called me back to get a description of its location and condition. In addition to dolphins, Superfund sites are also common around here, and I know one thing they do with dolphins is test their tissues for the build-up of pollutants.
So that was my Sunday afternoon. Just when I thought I was running out of inspiration for interesting blog posts, too…