WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. - It may take months before an official cause of death is determined, but necropsy information for the dolphin that was found dead in the Hutchinson River near the Mount Vernon border at Glover Field in Pelham last weekend has come in.
According to Atlantic Marine Conservation Society biologist Kimberly Durham, the creature was an adult female common dolphin that measured 6.4 feet long and weighed approximately 250 pounds.
“The dolphin had multiple scarring on her ovaries, indicating a mature female. Findings from the necropsy revealed renal lesions in the kidney and an examination of the brain tissues revealed no legions,” AMCS spokeswoman Rachel Bosworth noted. “The GI tract was empty, indicating that the dolphin had not eaten for some time.” No marine debris was noted during the exam.
Bosworth added that New York State Environmental Conservation Police Officer Wesley Leubner “was very helpful during the event." The DEC was first at the scene on Friday when the deceased dolphin was found and paramedics from Pelham helped remove the carcass and transfer it to a recycling transfer station, where the examination took place.
Samples of the dolphin were taken and sent to a pathologist who will determine an official cause of death, but results may take months to return.
The dolphin's discovery near the Mount Vernon town line on Friday afternoon prompted Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas to speculate that pollution may have been a factor in the animal’s death.
“Since his time on the Council, Mayor Richard Thomas has been advocating that the City of Mount Vernon repair and replace its aging sewer system that has been polluting the Hutchinson River since at least 2003,” Maria Donovan, a spokesperson for Thomas, said in a statement. “Mount Vernon was placed under a consent order by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2003 for the environmental concerns caused by the city’s existing sewer system.
“However, the City Council and Comptroller Maureen Walker have failed to act. The Thomas Administration has negotiated an array of cost-effective solutions with the EPA; however, city officials have rejected all the efforts we presented to protect the environment.”