If a Dolphin dies in the ocean is man to blame? Of course.
A dolphin known as “Beggar” for his tendency to approach boaters for food has been found dead, possibly as a result of his poor diet.
Beggar was found floating in the water near Albee Road Bridge on the Intracoastal Waterway in Sarasota, Fla., on Friday (Sept 21). His body was partially decomposed, making it impossible to determine the exact cause of death. However, the dolphin’s digestive tract contained fishing hooks, squid beaks (not usual prey for dolphins in the area) and ulcers, suggesting that humans may have contributed to his demise.
According to the Mote Marine Laboratory, for the past 20 years, Beggar has been hanging out in the area where he was found dead. He was known to approach boats looking for food. During 100 hours of observations over several months in 2011, researchers with the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program observed Beggar interacting with humans 3,600 times. People tried 169 times to feed Beggar an impressive range of 520 foods, including beer and hot dogs. On 121 occasions, boaters tried to pet the dolphin. Nine times, they were bitten for their efforts.
“We can’t say which of these many injuries was the ultimate cause of death for Beggar,” Gretchen Lovewell, the manager of Mote’s Stranding Investigations Program, said in a statement. “But all of our findings indicate that he was in poor health for a long time and that his interactions with humans played a role. Boat strike wounds, fishing hooks and line in his stomach — even the squid beaks we found — all of these things indicate that he was spending more time attempting to get food from humans than foraging on his own.”
I wondered when I read this, how long to dolphins usually live in Sarasota, Fla. And by chance I found that exact topic was the topic of a research paper, Duffield and Wells, 1990.
Census data from the Sarasota, Florida population suggest that a bottlenose dolphin’s average life span is probably 20 years or less (Duffield and Wells, 1990). Data from other areas are not available.
According to some marine biologists that have studied dolphins, the life span of a dolphin is up to 20 years old.
However, it has been proved that some dolphins have reached the age of 48.
The life span of dolphin varies from species to species, and the information provided is for bottlenose dolphins and some other similar species.
I knew there was something er.. fishy about this story. Sounds to me like the dolphin lived a long and happy life of his choosing.