7:50 pm UPDATE – Sadly, the dolphin that washed ashore in Queens did not survive.
A live dolphin washed ashore at a beach in New York City. Franly Estrella, of Queens, first spotted the struggling creature on a Far Rockaway Beach on Friday morning. Both the NYPD and Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation workers quickly responded to the scene to help the stranded dolphin.
The animal appeared to be either injured or exhausted, according to the New York Daily News. Estrella, 24, works as a porter at a waterfront area building. She spotted the stranded creature from a window and ran outside to offer what aid she could. She tried to push the dolphin back into the water, but it kept rolling back up on shore.
The Queens’ resident had this to say about the highly unusual encounter:
“I thought it was a shark. I was surprised it was a dolphin.”
The marine creature found on the Far Rockaway beach reportedly weighs 120-pounds and measures approximately 5-feet-long.
Four hours after the dolphin washed ashore in Queens, it was loaded into a rescue truck for its trip to the Riverhead Foundation Marine Research and Preservation facility in Long Island, according to New York Magazine. Police officers worked diligently to keep the marine animal well hydrated while it waited to travel to the conservation facility for an examination and care.
According to the New York Daily News, it was not immediately clear to first responders if the dolphin was the same type that suffered a massive stranding near Cape Cod earlier this year. There were approximately 179 common dolphins beached along the shore in Massachusetts during January and February. Sadly, only 71 of the stranded marine creatures were found alive, most of the surviving animals were quickly released back into the wild.