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January 14th - Dolphin stranding in HHI

On January 14th, our team received a call regarding a dead stranded dolphin on Hilton Head Island. Our Beaufort County stranding partner, Amber Kuehn, set up a response plan for that afternoon.


This carcass was considered a "Code 5", meaning it was mummified/mostly skeletal. It likely had been deceased for a few weeks before washing ashore on Hilton Head. A skin sample was collected for genetics testing. It is likely a bottlenose dolphin, but genetics testing will confirm whether it is a coastal or estuarine animal (Tursiops erebennus), or an offshore animal (Tursiops truncatus). Teeth were also collected for aging analysis.

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