In a first beaching incident reported this year, a 5.5-feet Humpback dolphin carcass was found at Juhu Beach on Friday morning. An autopsy revealed that the mammal died due to natural causes. “The dolphin, weighing around 400-500 kg, appears to have died due to natural causes and it will be buried in Airoli,” said Makarand Ghodke, the Assistant Conservator of Forests, State Mangrove Cell.
The dolphin was first spotted on the beach by morning joggers and fishermen who then contacted officials of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM). Experts from the forest department and the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) were then called to examine it. Later, the carcass was taken to the Bombay Veterinary Hospital in Parel for autopsy.
“Our external examination reveals that there were no injuries. It appears that it died less than 24 hours before beaching and so, an autopsy can be conducted,” said Ramesh S, a scientist, CMFRI. In cases where carcasses are decomposed, an autopsy cannot be conducted and those are buried without examination. On Friday, the dolphin was found with its gills in the mouth.
“It is possible that it was gasping for breath and the gills came to the mouth. It is a natural occurrence,” added Ghodke. In August last year, a decomposed carcass of a Humpback dolphin had washed ashore at the Carter Road Promenade in Bandra.