Two people called in a report of a dead or dying dolphin in Broad Bay, however, the rapid response team from the Virginia Aquarium was not able to reach the animal because of the weather conditions.
The call for the dead dolphin came in around 11 a.m. on Sunday morning. However, the ice in the bay created unsafe conditions that prevented the Virginia Aquarium’s response team from reaching the animal.
As of Monday, the conditions were still too cold for a team to make it out to the animal, but they were hopeful that weather conditions would soon improve. A spokesperson for the Virginia Aquarium said that there is still too much ice for the team to get out into the bay.
“We’re hoping the warm temperatures [Monday] will give us a chance to go [Tuesday], but the plans are on hold until the ice clears,” Matt Klepeisz, a Virginia Aquarium spokesperson, explained.
A cause of death will not be able to be determined until the animal is brought to the lab at the aquarium and studied. Though, it is likely that the cold weather could have played a role in the animal’s death.
While marine wildlife in the area all have their own ways of dealing with cold weather, few are prepared to handle the cold weather and snow that came from Super Storm Grayson. Seals in the area have been known to congregate on the islands surrounding the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. Klepeisz explained that these seals will be able to survive the cold as long as they continue to eat.