Biologists are trying to figure out what killed a rare dolphin found on Haida Gwaii over the weekend.
The 3.3 meter Risso’s, or “Grampus” dolphin was discovered washed up on a beach near Tlel by a pair of residents Saturday night.
Researchers with the Vancouver Aquarium and B.C. Cetacean Sightings Network, who were on the island teaching a workshop on how to deal with stranded marine mammals, say there was no obvious sign as to what led to the animal’s death.
They joined with DFO, Haida Nation, and parks B.C. and Parks Canada staff to conduct a necropsy earlier this week, and are awaiting test results.
Risso’s dolphins are large members of the cetacean family and can grow as long as four meters (more than 13 feet).
They have bulbous heads, curved dorsal fins, and bodies often covered in scratches and scars.
They have a wide range in tropical and temperate waters.
But while they are not considered endangered, they are rarely sighted in B.C. waters.
The dolphin’s skeleton will be cleaned and preserved so it can be displayed on the island.