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Dead baby dolphin sighting near Ingleside on the Bay prompts concern from nearby residents

Patrick Nye, who is a longtime Ingleside on the Bay resident told 3NEWS that this is the second dead juvenile dolphin he's seen in less than a month in the area.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A dead baby dolphin was reportedly spotted in the water near the coast of Ingleside on the Bay.

Reports and video of it started coming in over the weekend. 

Patrick Nye, who is a longtime Ingleside on the Bay resident told 3NEWS that this is the second dead juvenile dolphin he's seen in less than a month in the area.

Nye was out boating when the heartbreaking sight caught his attention. Another dolphin believed to be it's mother, was seen next to its side -- pushing it along.

"The mother was trying to raise the baby up and stayed with the baby for several days," he said. "The baby had already gone through the decomposition process and the mother looked pretty earnest to try to save the baby."

Even though Nye has lived in Ingleside since he was a kid, the difficult sight is something he said has been extremely rare until recently. 

"This is the second time this month, only two times in 55 years of being here, that I've found baby dolphins floating the ship channel," he said.

Nye took video of this latest incident and used it to spread awareness. He formed the Ingleside on the Bay Coastal Watch Association a few years back, as a way to help keep an eye on industry -- and any causes of concern in the bay.

"The water is about as dirty as I've ever seen it and I'm thinking the productivity of the bay, having a zoology degree, being here fishing and all that it seems like the bay productivity is going down," he said.

The case has also been reported to the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network. Heidi Whitehead is the executive director for the stranding network and said that while the sight might be difficult to witness, the organization has not seen anything out of the ordinary when it comes to dolphin deaths or strandings.

"That behavior that is typically observed in dolphins, it really is believed to be part of the grieving process for them, something where our team and teams across the gulf would not intervene in that behavior," she said.

She said its also calving season for dolphins, in which unfortunately - this does happen from time to time to the youngest of the pod.

"Thankful for residents to report even the dead, or any stranded mammal we can get a lot of good information from the dead animals to lead us to a cause of stranding," she said.

Whitehead told 3NEWS that January through March is considered stranding season, and their departments does see these types of things happen.

"Not uncommon, still something they try to get out to every case to collect data," she said.

Whether it's natural causes or something else that led to the young dolphin's death, Nye is hoping something can be done to get to the bottom of it.

"Something is going on at least in my mind, I haven't seen this occur," he said.

Residents can report dolphin strandings at 1-800-9MAMMAL.

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