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August 6th - Dolphin Stranding in Mt. Pleasant

Warning - Graphic Content

On the evening of August 6th, we were notified that there was a dead bottlenose dolphin in an oyster bed off Pitt Street Bridge in Mt. Pleasant. The caller was able to provide photographs which showed this dolphin was heavily scavenged. There were many post-mortem shark bites and all internal organs were missing.

The next morning, our intern Brooke Staples searched the area for the dolphin but didn't find it. It likely washed back out into the harbor with the high tide overnight. However, later that morning, we got a report that a dolphin had washed up on Sullivan's Island. Based on the same scavenging patterns, we believe this was the same animal. I headed out to the scene where I met fellow LMMN staff member Brooke Brown, LMMN volunteer Mary Pringle, and our interns Brooke Staples and Katie Fisk. Because this animal was in an advanced stage of decomposition, we collected a total length and a skin sample. Sullivan's Island Fire Department helped us bury the carcass on site so it wouldn't wash up somewhere else again. The teeth on this adult were fully worn down to the gum line, which means it was an older animal. We can only hope that old age was the cause of death for this animal.

Thanks to everyone who helped with this case!


Initial stranding off Pitt Street Bridge

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