TOFINO, B.C. — An exotic dolphin that beached itself near Tofino, B.C., has died after what rescuers are describing as an "unusual" stranding.
A team from the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre and Parks Canada say in a news release they were unable to save what is believed to be a long-beaked common dolphin.
Long-beaked common dolphins typically live in tropical or sub-tropical regions. Their range includes central California to central Mexico and areas around Japan, Korea and Taiwan.
When Parks employees found the animal yesterday at Pacific Rim National Park, they tried to refloat the adult male so it could swim away, then held it in shallow water until members from the rescue centre arrived.
The dolphin was in critical condition when it was taken to the rescue centre in Vancouver, but stopped breathing there.
There will be a necropsy to determine the animal's cause of death.
Andrew Trites of the University of British Columbia's Marine Mammal Research unit said models are predicting that species will be moving further north as ocean temperatures rise, so what were once considered rare sightings could become quite common.
"In science and government, we'll have to understand that the status quo is a thing of the past and adapt to seeing new species," Trites said in a statement.
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