Dead Dolphin Washes Ashore in IB

Dolphin was found floating next to pier

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK

    Beachgoers at Imperial Beach were greeted Tuesday morning to the sight of a dead dolphin that washed onshore overnight.

    The dolphin was pulled onto the sand by a local man who thought it was a tuna.

    "Last night, my friend and I were walking down the pier, looking at what kind of fish people were catching, and we saw this big object floating in," said Mark Aragona. "We thought it was a tuna, so we waited for a couple of hours for it to get close to shore."

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    Aragona said he tried to call experts at Scripps to come look at the animal but was unsuccessful. He said he hoped they would be able to tell him how the dolphin died.

    Lately, San Diegans have been reminded they share the ocean with sea life. On Sunday, a great white shark was spotted of the coast of La Jolla Shores, prompting lifeguards to warn people about the potentially dangerous sea creature.

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    The great white shark population is increasing off our the California coast and experts say that protections for marine life initiated 17 years ago are starting to pay off.

    Local surfer Zach Plopper was one of several beachgoers who stumbled across the dolphin Tuesday morning. He happens to work at WildCoast, a wildlands conservation program located in Imperial Beach. Just last week, Plopper and a co-worker heard a rumor about a pygmy sperm whale that had washed ashore down the beach.

    "[We] took a run down to the river mouth last week and then saw it," Plopper said. "It looked like a dolphin -- but bigger than a dolphin -- so I assume that's what it was. The head was missing, and there were some bite marks out of it, so I couldn't really tell."

    As far as sharks are concerned, Plopper isn't concerned about it.

    "Even seeing the whale with bite marks out of it, there are sharks in the water," Plopper said. "It is a reminder that they are there, they travel past this coastline every year."