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Dolphin stranded in heavily polluted New York canal dies

Posted at 6:07 PM, Jan 25, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-25 19:26:20-05

By CNN Staff

NEW YORK (CNN) –The dolphin that appeared to have lost its way and became stranded in the Gowanus Canal died early Friday evening.

Emergency personnel gathered Friday alongside the canal, which borders Brooklyn’s Red Hook neighborhood, in an effort to rescue the marine mammal, which had inadvertently become trapped in the channel’s muck and mud.

“Because there is no shoreline or easy way to get to the dolphin, investigators will only monitor it,” said Rob DiGiovanni, Riverhead Foundation’s director and senior biologist. “It’s very uncommon for a dolphin or any marine animal to be in the Gowanus, but it’s happened before.”

DiGiovanni said rescuers planned to wait until high tide to determine whether the creature could free itself before considering additional steps. NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul J. Browne said emergency service units were also on scene to evaluate the situation.

Multiple reports say that the water is considered too toxic for rescuers to enter. The Enviromental Protection Agency ruled that the body to be one of the most polluted in the nation. 

Much like New York’s once missing Bronx Zoo cobra and peacock, a dolphin stranded in Brooklyn’s heavily polluted Gowanus Canal has earned itself a Twitter following.

In 2011, an escaped Egyptian cobra slithered its way onto the Internet, where the reptile won tens of thousands of Twitter fans. But the Gowanus dolphin’s account was suspended shortly after it surfaced Friday afternoon.

Maybe because someone knew there wouldn’t be a happy ending to this story…

CNN’s Jordana Ossad, Laura Batchelor, Jason Kessler, Mark J. Norman and Lawrence Crook contributed to this report

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