Rare dolphin carcass washes up on Maui's north shore

Published On: Nov 21 2013 10:10:00 PM HST

It's an incredible opportunity for researchers in Hawaii. They haven't had an incident like this for 25 years.

Click here to watch Nana Ohkawa's report.

The Risso's dolphin was 9-feet-long and weighed about 800 pounds. It washed up last Saturday on Maui's North shore.

Researchers with the Marine Mammal Stranding Program at Hawaii Pacific University say the dolphin most likely died because of serious medical problems.

The male dolphin appeared to be very old and sick with signs of severe disease in its heart, lungs, and stomach. He also had a plastic bag in his digestive tract that may have led to his bad health.

Scientists say the species has been difficult to study because in Hawaii its habitat is far from shore and in deep waters.

Researchers will be doing follow up tests to see if there are specific diseases that are impacting the dolphins or human threats that can be mitigated.


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