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January 29th - Dolphin calf stranding in

We received a text from Amber Kuehn (LMMN volunteer) on 29 January 2024 about a small, dead bottlenose dolphin near Forest Beach on Hilton Head Island, Beaufort County, SC. A. Kuehn picked up the dolphin for us and stored it frozen. Nicole Principe retrieved the dolphin on 1 February 2024 and brought it back to the necropsy lab at Hollings Marine Lab. N. Principe met Bonnie Ertel (NOAA/CSS) and Claire Goubeaux (LMMN volunteer) the following morning for a necropsy.

Based on the total length (81 cm), the presence of fetal folds, and an unhealed umbilicus, this animal was determined to be a stillborn fetus that was approx. 2 months from full term. Significant findings included blood-stained occipital condyles and humeral heads, large mass of unknown tissue (likely liver), and missing or decomposed intestines.

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