Injured Northern Right Whale Dolphin Stranded at Point Dume

1 North 0 South 1 (?) 4.25 hrs

Fast response today from multiple LA County Lifeguards who were able to quickly get to the stranded, injured Northern Right Whale Dolphin (NRWD) and lift it carefully into the Lifeguard Truck, providing a faster way across the rocky sandy area to meet the the California Wildlife Center (CWC) Marine Mammal Rescue Team (MMRT) in the parking lot, saving precious time to help the injured dolphin. Three attuned beach goers also spotted the injured NRWD and promptly reported their observations to CWC (who were already aware & on the way). The three woman stayed with the animal until all units arrived on scene and maintained a watchful vigil as the rescue ensued.

The Northern Right Whale Dolphin are a migratory species of cetacean typically seen in large acrobatic pods of 100-200 far offshore in deep cold water or along the continental shelf, leaping out of the water traveling at high speeds from 16-22mph. They are a slim streamlined, finless dolphin with black dorsal backs and white ventral abdomens with smaller proportioned flukes.

Highly trained, coordinated, multidiscipline effort to rescue and secure, assess, lift and carry the injured Northern Right Whale Dolphin into the California Wildlife Center’s, Marine Mammal Rescue Team’s Van for further evaluation and care.

I was able to see there were gashes with bleeding along the ventral pelvis area and upper cranial/ head area, gasps could be heard as the dolphin breathed, lifting its fluke high.

UPDATE: Unfortunately the exam at CWC by the veterinary medical team showed the Northern Right Whale Dolphin had severe injures to the head that warranted euthanasia to prevent further suffering.

Rough choppy water with gusty 20-25mph winds made sighting gray whales difficult today. Nearly impossible to look north as the wind gusts lifted pelting sand and accumulation occurred in parking lots and all lower lying areas in the bluff. Causing subtle but collaterally significant erosion of the beach front areas. Left unmanaged this sand would form new dunes along the parking lot and delete the beach berm which protects the road and parking lot. White caps were visible across the Santa Monica Bay to the south and north as far as the Channel Islands. The surf was dangerous with strong rip tide currents. One whale was spotted in the choppy 3-4 ft white capped and foamy surf which obliterated any view for more than a split second. Sadly no photos were captured. Another unknown species of whale was seen 1000+yards out but again the surf made viewing impossible for proper identification.

Loud barking could be heard from the twenty to thirty sea lions hauled out Sea Lion cove. The majority were resting, fully dry, warming up on the rocks. A large unidentified snake was seen in the sandy areas between the coreopsis plants along the walking trails. Please be careful to be on the look out for them at all times. Late in the afternoon (4pm) the NRWD was rescued as above in continued windy conditions. Later still, by 5:45pm, the temperature dropped to 53 degrees as sun set behind the clouds, no green flash seen.

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