By David Madden
TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) – More than two dozen dolphins have washed up dead along New Jersey’s coast in the last month (SEE RELATED STORY).
It’s part of a rash of dolphin deaths in the mid-Atlantic states that could well be linked to a virus fatal to them, but not to us. That’s not to say you should be careless if you should come upon one of them.
Sure they’re cute, and when you see a dolphin in trouble your initial instinct might be to try and help. Bob Schoelkopf at the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine, New Jersey has a single word of advice: Don’t!
“That’s the worst thing you could do right now, especially this time of year when the waters are warm and predators are out there in a lot larger numbers than we would normally see,” he said.
Those predators, sharks for the most part, could opt to take a bite out of you instead of the dolphin. Also, any deceased animal will carry a lot of bacteria that could affect you as well.
Schoelkopf recalls how a mother allowed her kids to sit on a dead dolphin for pictures this week. You wouldn’t do that with road kill now, would you?