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Update: 2:58 pm
The wayward dolphin that accidentally took a turn on Coney Island’s most dangerous water ride yesterday has died.
The barrel-bodied beast was found at 11:30 am in the Coney Island Creek, a representative of the Riverhead Foundation said.
A Department of Environmental Conservation officer dragged the cetacean corpse out of the water and handed it over to the foundation, which advises the city on marine life issues. A rep for the group said that it will perform an autopsy on the animal to determine the cause of death but that, at first blush, it looks like the dolphin was sick and loopy when it wandered into the waterway.
“It didn’t initially show signs of illness, but it seemed disoriented and it was going in circles,” foundation spokeswoman Melissa Martin said.
Its death comes after police said late this morning that the dolphin had disappeared.
The creature entered Coney Island Creek between Coney Island and Bath Beach at high tide yesterday morning and police left it to its fate in the evening after minding it — and making sure no Flipper lovers jumped in the icy water to commune with the beast — all day.
Police helicopters spotted the dolphin yesterday shortly after reports of its upriver swim came in around 11 am. It passed beneath a boom near the Cropsey Avenue bridge and, when the tide retreated, there was less than two feet of water beneath the barrier, so it could not swim back out, cops said.
Police cut the boom to clear the way, but the aquatic animal kept swimming in circles at the waterway’s stagnant end. Officers lined the waterway known locally as Perfume Bay, corralling spectators and talking to experts who said the best thing to do was to watch and wait until the 6:30 pm high tide.
But at 7 last night, the people-control-turned-animal-control department said that it was no longer monitoring the marine mammal, nor was any other city agency. This morning, police said that the dolphin was gone, but that they did not know where it went or when.
A second dolphin washed ashore at Point Lookout in Long Island’s Nassau County this morning, meaning there may be some sort of marine mammal malady going around.
Dolphins have also made wrong turns into other famously polluted marine passages in the borough, with one dying in the Gowanus Canal in January, and another making its way up the Newtown Creek in 2010.
©2013 Community Newspaper Group
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