“Simple-minded citizens of New York could not understand that this was not an episode of Flipper or a show at Sea World. This was a wild marine mammal. The marine biologists who observed it as it spent its last hours in a not-so-pretty place, knew all along that the animal was doomed and followed proper protocol. This kind of dolphin death happens countless times each day all over the world but in most cases there is no human there to see it, and to have it happen in a dirty waterway near ignorant people who know nothing about marine mammals was the real tragedy.” [Dr. Luci Messhy DVM, University of Mumbai, India]
[Park Slope, New York, USA] –The dolphin that died after getting stranded in the Gowanus Canal on Friday was “far too old and sick to be saved,” according the veterinarians and marine biolgists who dissected the remains.
A necropsy (animal autopsy) conducted by Kimberly Durham of the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation determined that the dolphin, a male, was quite old and suffering from many diseases associated with old age in dolphins. The fact that the Gowanus Canal has been determined to be a Super Fund and toxic environment had nothing whatsoever to do with the animals death. The sick animal ventured into the dirty canal in a failed attempt to “beach” or “strand” itself where it would die. This is normal behavior for a sick or mortally injured dolphin.
According to a few zoologists and marine biologists who were on hand for the demise of this dolphin, the locals who watched this whole thing play out blurted out some pretty stupid things about the workings of the police and the government red tape involved. This outcry from non-scientific people caused a lot of problems for those marine science experts who understood the situation as soon as they observed the dolphin for only a few minutes.
“What could the police or the marine biologists really do,” said a famed zoologist who prefers to remain anonymous.
“It was apparent upon simple observation that this was an aged dolphin in a compromised state of ill health. To try and drag it out of the water would only have produced photographs and videos of a dolphin struggling vainly against human intervention in muddy water that billowed up a lot of black silt. It would have been an awful sight and even more terrifying for the dolphin who was doing what comes naturally to a dolphin when age and illness take their final toll.
“Ordinary people have the crazy idea that dolphins are cuddly and huggable creatures when in fact they are powerful animals who can rupture your spleen or your aorta or your liver with one good swipe of the tail. A tail-bang from a 300 pound frightened and sick dolphin would be like getting punched in the gut by seven Mike Tysons, but the locals around that canal seemed pretty child-minded and unwilling to learn or understand anything about the entire situation.
“These local armchair ‘experts’ thought the dolphin was calling out to be saved when in fact that was the complete opposite of the truth. They even blamed the police for not jumping in to save the creature. The dumbness of the locals who came out to gawk at the creature was sickening to watch and hear for me as a scientist. I never knew people could be that stupid, but maybe it’s the chemicals in the water or something, because the people who came were perhaps the dumbest people I have ever encountered in a dolphin or whale stranding. The buzz around the area was that the chemicals in the canal had ruined the dolphin’s brain, when in fact it seemed more likely that the local gawkers should be more worried about their own brain damage since a huge majority of them seem to have some form of it.
“I heard people say some really wild things about the dolphin being kind and understanding, and how he craved human compassion. Maybe you can almost say this about the captive dolphins you see at the various Marine World shows who make you throw them a snack when they turn a trick for you, but try bothering a sick wild dolphin and it might very well be your last act of kindness.
“Hollywood and these water park shows have totally distorted the truth about dolphins. For the most part dolphins avoid human contact of any kind and when bothered by a human they can react violently. This is especially true when an animal is sick or nursing a calf. They are about as smart as a dumb dog if you want to get technical about it, and yes they can be taught to do things. You can teach a chimp to play chopsticks on the piano but it doesn’t mean that the chimp is a musical genius. People are really stupid. They have a P.T. Barnum mentality — and he’s been dead for 100 years.”
“One woman said the dolphin should have been saved because it would welcome the comforting gestures of a caring human, and as sad as the whole thing was, I almost had to laugh at the sheer stupidty of her opinions and the opinions of people who know nothing about pretty much everything let alone marine biology. These people live near a toxic canal for the love of god. Who knows what kind of brain damage they have? They might be even sicker than this dolphin was, but that doesn’t stop them from shooting their mouths off with their childish commentary.
“This dolphin was a wild marine mammal who would not understand “comforting gestures” — this is not an episode of Flipper like Dr. Messhy said. The marine biologists knew what was happening and they also knew that the best things to do and the best things to say as far as the public eye is concerned. Countless dolphins die like this every day but they do it where nobody sees them. Sadly this old guy ended up in the a dirty canal where he reached the one place in a million where he could NOT beach himself and die without being slowly eaten to death while drifting on the open sea while struggling to get his head above water for air.
“This whole thing was a very sticky situation — far more damaging for the humans than for the dolphin. If they tried to rescue him, he would have died and/or seriously injured a human in the process. What would you have then? You’d have a lot of photos and videos of a dolphin flopping helplessly in a net while coated in black mud and silt and somebody dead in a mucky canal — would you want to see that?
“Nature can be very cruel — much crueler than any human, but there is a method to nature’s cruelty. This dolphin lived a VERY long and VERY FREE life. These idiots who were hanging around the canal should save their misplaced compassion for the captive marine mammals who put on a show for them and their kids when they head down to Orlando or Atlantis on some bird-brain Disney Cruise.
“Trust me, the dolphin who died in the Gowanus Canal had a great life — it’s just too bad he wound up in a filthy graveyard surrounded by a crowd of some of the dumbest people on earth when that life was ending.”
Editors note: This article intentionally uses the word AUTOPSY incorrectly in the headline to describe the post-mortem examination of the dolphin. The correct word is NECROPSY — a word which describes a post-mortem examination of a dead animal. If TheDamienZone had used the word NECROPSY in the headline, the vast majority of people would not have known what we were were talking about. Also, the zoologist we interviewed was very angry at the local citizens and the criticism of the police and marine experts.