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Unwell dolphin found off coast of northern Israel dies despite rescue effort

Nature and Parks Authority took the animal for treatment, says it had breathing problems and appears to have been suffering from disease; also had bite marks on its tail

Nature and Parks Authority staff treat a wounded dolphin at the Sea Turtle Rescue Center in Mikhmoret, June 12, 2021 (Yali Mivorakh/Israel Nature and Parks Authority)
Nature and Parks Authority staff treat a wounded dolphin at the Sea Turtle Rescue Center in Mikhmoret, June 12, 2021 (Yali Mivorakh/Israel Nature and Parks Authority)

A dolphin found in poor condition off the Israeli coast Saturday was rushed for veterinary treatment by Nature and Parks Authority staff, but eventually died despite the rescue efforts.

The dolphin was found near the Beit Yannai Beach north of Netanya and was taken to the Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center in Mikhmoret for medical care.

Yaniv Levi, a veterinarian and the director of the rescue center, said the dolphin suffered from breathing difficulties and had a slow heart rate. It had also been bitten in the tail, but it was not clear whether this was related to its condition.

The dolphin’s death was declared by doctors at the rescue center.

The Nature and Parks Authority said the most likely cause of death appeared to be a disease the dolphin was suffering from, but added that it would become more clear after an autopsy is performed.

“I jumped into the water to attempt to identify the sex and the symptoms of the injury and make a decision as to whether the dolphin needs to be taken for treatment,” Levi said of finding the animal.

“At first I saw that it was swimming, but after a few minutes I identified tremors and involuntary movements, and in addition, I saw that there were bite marks at the base of the tail and realized that it needed to be taken out for treatment,” he added.

According to Levi, the female striped dolphin was some two meters (6.5 feet) long.

Her death makes her the seventh dolphin to die on Israel’s coast since the beginning of 2021, according to the Walla news site.

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