Dolphin Makes a Wrong Turn, Ends up in New York City

A dolphin comes up for air Friday in the Gowanus Canal, in New York City’s Brooklyn borough.

“Dolphins are so beautiful,” said 8-year-old Anabell Blaine, in an interview with New York City TV station WNBC.

But there wasn’t anything pretty about the situation one dolphin found itself in on Friday.

Somehow, it had swum into a frigid, polluted canal in Brooklyn – and appeared to be stuck there.

“I hope they get him out,” Anabell said.

But as the sun began to set late Friday afternoon, the dolphin’s future looked uncertain.

“Unfortunately, all we can do is watch and wait for the tide to rise,” said Robert DiGiovanni, the director of the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation, in an interview with the New York Daily News.  “It’s not safe for us to get people in the water.”

The dolphin was first spotted on Friday morning, according to the New York Times.

It was in the Gowanus Canal – a body of water that’s so polluted that it’s on the US Environmental Protection Agency’s “Superfund” list.

“One of the nation’s most extensively contaminated water bodies,” the EPA said, according to WNBC.

As the dolphin bobbed up and down and surfaced for air, it stirred up a cloud of black muck in the shallow water.

“The water is so murky, it’s hard to tell how (the dolphin is) doing,” DiGiovanni told the Daily News.

Riverhead Foundation marine biologist Julika Wocial told the Times it was an adult common dolphin, six to ten feet long and weighing around 200 pounds.


Some people said the dolphin appeared to be injured.

At the very least, it appeared to be confused.

“I don’t (ever) recall having a dolphin all the way up in the waterway,” DiGiovanni told the Times.

Police and animal experts were hoping that the dolphin would be freed by the next high tide Friday evening.

In the meantime, they watched and waited.

“I hope they can save the dolphin,” said Vinny Internicola, one of the onlookers, in an interview with the Daily News.  “I can smell the water from here.  I can’t imagine being in there.”

We’ll update this story for you on Monday.