PORTSMOUTH, R.I. — A deceased dolphin washed ashore late Friday afternoon on Old Pier Road, located off Bristol Ferry Road near the Mt. Hope Bridge, according to Portsmouth police.
The police department received several calls about the dolphin. The Animal Control Officer is currently removing the dolphin, according to police.
The department posted the following on its Facebook page Friday.
Mystic Aquarium (the closest organization with a stranded marine animal program) offers the following tips if you find a live or deceased marine animal along a beach.
If you encounter a stranded animal
- Do not touch the animal. All marine mammals are protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act. This law makes it illegal to touch, disturb, feed or otherwise harass marine mammals without authorization.
- A beached whale, dolphin or porpoise should be reported immediately and left alone pending further instruction.
- Give the animal plenty of space. Crowding stresses the animal and may cause it to act aggressively.
- Keep pets away from the stranded animal. Not only can they bite and cause injury to the stranded animal, but they may be injured by it. Diseases can also be transmitted between stranded animals and pets.
- Do not pour water on a seal, feed it, cover it or attempt to move it into the water. It is normal for seals to come ashore to rest.
- Be observant. Take note of any obvious signs of injury, the overall body condition of the animal (is it robust or thin?), identification tags, the presence of other animals (especially important with dolphins), the sea state and recognizable landmarks that will make it possible to locate the animal.