Unfortunately, onlookers decided to push the dolphin back in the water in hopes that it would swim back out to sea. If a dolphin strands, it is best not to push it back in the water. Keep your distance and call our stranding hotline immediately. (Here are more tips on what to do if you encounter a stranded marine animal.) This animal ended up repeatedly beaching itself after multiple attempts to be put back in that water by onlookers, causing a great deal of stress on the animal. Luckily, the Revere Police Department arrived on scene and was able to keep people away while the rescue team was on their way.
The animal was in the surf zone at this point and we gave permission and instructions to an individual in a wet suit to support the animal so it would not continue to be pushed around by the waves. When the rescue team arrived on scene, we were surprised to find out it actually wasn't a harbor porpoise, but a juvenile Atlantic white-sided dolphin!
The dolphin was placed in a stretcher and carried off the beach by Rescue staff and volunteers to a quiet and less stressful location for the animal.
This species is very social and would not survive without its family group. Adam used binoculars to search the open water to see if other dolphins were in the area just in case, but none were seen. If brought out to the ocean with no other animals of its species, it would not survive. The animal was brought back to the aquarium to run blood work and continue an examination. After determining this animal was in very poor condition, extremely thin and labored breathing, it was humanely euthanized.
The rescue team performed a necropsy on the animal the next day to find a cause for the stranding. There was nothing obvious to determine the cause, and pathology is pending.
A special thanks to the Revere PD for their help in this case!