A bottlenose dolphin found stranded on Jones Beach Sunday morning was euthanized after rescuers determined it was too sick to survive.
Kimberly Durham, rescue program coordinator for the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation, said the agency received a report around 7 a.m. about the 7-foot-long coastal bottlenose dolphin, which was found a mile east of parking field 6.
Before Durham's group arrived, passersby tried to return the dolphin to the ocean. The dolphin kept beaching itself -- "which usually translates to something not right with this animal," she said.
Durham said the animal was young but emaciated, weighing less than 300 pounds, and it had lesions in its mouth, indicating a prolonged illness.
En route to the group's Riverhead headquarters, the dolphin kept lapsing into shock and the decision was made to euthanize the animal, Durham said.
"We decided it was in his best interests to put him down there," she said.
It was the first bottlenose dolphin handled by the agency.About two weeks ago, the group rescued a 600-pound Rizzo's dolphin off a sandbar in the middle of the Great South Bay, Durham said.
That dolphin, a female, is being rehabilitated.