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Dolphin found injured on beach dies

August 19, 2007|From a Times Staff Writer

A bottlenose dolphin found critically injured on a Malibu beach died Saturday night while en route in a van to a marine animal care facility.

The California Highway Patrol was called to escort the dolphin from Zuma Beach to the Marine Mammal Care Center in San Pedro, a 51-mile drive.

The dolphin was suffering from gashes probably caused by a boat propeller.

Lifeguards trained in marine animal rescue found the dolphin shortly after 5:30 p.m. along the surf line. They retrieved it using a "dolphin swing" and rushed it from the beach in a truck, said Capt. Angus Alexander of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

The animal was placed atop a sponge blanket and was constantly doused with water while awaiting transport to a van, Alexander said.

Finding a dolphin injured by a boat propeller is uncommon at Zuma Beach, Alexander said. Marine animal rescues more commonly involve birds caught in fishing nets or sea lions suffering convulsions from algae poisoning.

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