Attacked dolphin washes ashore in Volusia County

Published On: Dec 24 2013 05:10:18 PM EST
Updated On: Nov 21 2013 05:35:57 PM EST

Dolphin's death may be linked to virus that has killed 700 mammals along the east coast.

ORMOND BEACH, Fla. -

An 8-foot bottlenose dolphin that washed ashore Thursday morning on Ormond Beach died after it was likely attacked by a shark, officials said.

The dolphin washed ashore about 11 a.m. behind Grand Seas Resort at 2424 N. Atlantic Ave.

Officials said the condition of the dolphin suggested that it had likely been attacked by a shark.

Experts from Hubbs SeaWorld Research Institute attempted to rescue the dolphin, which died just before being euthanized at the beach.  Experts also said it's likely the dolphin had been sick for some time, which allowed it to become prey for a shark.

Linda Lenz says her heart hurt watching the male dolphin die this afternoon. She was the one who called for help when she saw the dolphin strand itself earlier.

"It's like it's my dolphin," Lenz said.

A veterinarian will test the dolphin for morbillivirus, an epidemic that has killed over 700 dolphins all along the East Coast since June. Rescuers think the dolphin was likely infected.

"It struggled. It worked hard. It was sad, but they'll learn something from it, I'm sure," Lenz added.

Researchers say just within the last few weeks there have been several other similar strandings in Ormond.

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