Another tropical animal washes up on a cold B.C. beach

Vancouver Aquarium researcher Caitlin Birdsall, left, leads the necropsy of a rare Risso's dolphin that washed up on the shore of Haida Gwaii on Saturday, Feb.20, 2016.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Vancouver Aquarium

HAIDA GWAII, B.C. - Researchers say a third tropical animal has found its way to a cold British Columbia beach this winter.

This time, the rarely seen Risso's dolphin was found dead on a Haida Gwaii beach, far away from the warm waters where the animal is normally spotted.

Researchers from the Vancouver Aquarium, the B.C. Cetacean Sightings Network, the Department of Fisheries and others conducted a necropsy on the animal on Monday and couldn't find an obvious cause of death.

Risso's dolphins are grey in colour and have stocky bodies with rounded snouts and no noticeable beak, and the female dolphin was about 3.3 metres or almost 11 feet long.

The species is seldom sighted in northern waters, just like other recent discoveries on the West Coast of Vancouver Island of a Guadalupe fur seal and a green sea turtle.

The emaciated fur seal died a few days after it was found, but the sea turtle is recovering nicely in a temporary holding pool at the Vancouver aquarium.

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