North Carolina Shark Attack: Injured Dolphin Washes Ashore, Dies

Dustin Wicksell

A dolphin that had been injured in a shark attack washed ashore on a North Carolina beach this week, dying from its injuries in the latest shark-related episode to strike the East Coast.

The incident transpired Friday morning at Kure Beach, according to Fox 8. A witness observed the dolphin as it was attacked by a shark just south of the Kure Beach pier, suffering several bite wounds, including at least one on its tail. The dolphin washed ashore following the shark attack, and beachgoers moved to cover the animal with towels and bring it water in an attempt to care for it. Despite their efforts, the dolphin succumbed to its injuries, dying on the sand.

NEW: Beach crowd caring for dolphin that beached itself on Kure Beach. May have been injured by shark. @wectnews pic.twitter.com/lsxESSvsWb

— Jon Evans (@JonEvansWECT) July 10, 2015

The dolphin's death wasn't the only shark encounter that was recorded on Kure beach, located in New Hanover County. Later on Friday, another beachgoer was able to film a shark as it hunted a stingray just offshore, according to WECT. Megan Kindley of Concord asserted that the video was filmed in the same area where the dolphin suffered its shark attack earlier in the day. The footage, which was taken around 5 p.m., depicts the shark coming within 15 feet of the beach as it pursued the prey animal.

The North Carlina coast has experienced a record number of shark incidents over the last few months, reporting a dramatic increase in attacks. As the Inquisitr previously reported, the region typically records only one or two shark attacks annually, though this year at least eight people have been injured off North Carolina.

Caught on Camera: Shark spotted near Kure Beach shore http://t.co/fi5xUiZVfh pic.twitter.com/pf5feexjbG

— WXII 12 News (@WXII) July 9, 2015

When incidents in South Carolina are taken into account, that number rises to 11, and researchers are at a loss when attempting to explain why. Some have postulated that an increased number of beachgoers have led to a higher probability of attacks, while others note that warming ocean currents have allowed the sharks to travel northward earlier in the year than usual.

After it died, the dolphin was transported to the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, where a necropsy will be performed. A professor at that institution identified the dolphin as an adult male, noting that among several wounds inflicted by the shark, the injury to its tail appeared particularly severe.

[Photo by Audrey Schneider via Twitter]

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