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Rescuers: Dolphin stranded in polluted New York canal dies

By CNN Staff
January 26, 2013 -- Updated 0211 GMT (1011 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Despite rescue efforts, dolphin dies
  • The dolphin was stranded in Brooklyn's heavily polluted Gowanus Canal
  • Emergency personnel gathered Friday alongside the canal
  • Rescuers had hoped to wait until high tide to determine whether dolphin could free itself

New York (CNN) -- A dolphin stranded in Brooklyn's highly polluted Gowanus Canal on Friday has died, according to the Riverhead Foundation.

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

After being stuck in murky low-tide waters for most of the day, the Common Dolphin passed away Friday evening, according to Joanne Biegert of the Riverhead Foundation. Biegert said there were no further details on what was going to be done with the animal's carcass.

"Usually when you see reports like this (of a dolphin trapped in low water) it means the animal is injured," Allison McHale of the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration said Friday.

"It's not a good sign when you see it by itself," Mchale told CNN.

"It's very uncommon for a dolphin or any marine animal to be in the Gowanus, but it's happened before," Rob DiGiovanni, Riverhead Foundation's director and senior biologist, told CNN Friday.

In addition to foundation personnel, NYPD emergency service units were also on scene, according to NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul J. Browne.

CNN's Kristinia Sgueglia and Lawrence Crook contributed to this report.

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