NEW BEDFORD — A deceased dolphin was located Tuesday afternoon on a South End beach, a rare occurrence on the SouthCoast and even rarer considering the exact species of dolphin it was.

According to New Bedford Police, the male bottlenose dolphin was located on the beach by East Rodney French Boulevard, near Brittany Dye, at around 1 p.m. this afternoon. The dolphin was then removed by the International Fund for Animal Welfare, or IFAW, with a crane lifting it from the beach and loading it onto a truck.

“We were able to collect the carcass and hopefully, with a necropsy, we can see what was going on with it,” said Olivia Guerra, stranding biologist for IFAW. “First, we will have some preliminary findings looking at its organs, and then we’ll take other samples that will be sent out to a lab.”

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Guerra said it could take some time before the results come back and there is an answer as to what caused the dolphin’s death.

“As a male bottlenose, though he is quite large, he did look thin,” she said. “So it’s hard to say what was going on prior to his passing.”

Guerra said a dolphin coming ashore on the SouthCoast is not a common event, as dolphins tend to stick to the waters on the other side of southeastern Massachusetts.

“It’s not usually something we see often down in New Bedford,” she said. “We get more live strandings than dead and those are up on the outer Cape, on the Cape Cod Bay side. We certainly get reports in that neck of the woods but not often in New Bedford.”

What was even more mysterious is that this was a male bottlenose dolphin, a species not usually seen in these waters.

“We see a lot of common dolphins, we don’t see many bottlenose dolphins super often,” Guerra said. “That’s not to say that we don’t get them at all, but they’re not as common of a species around here.”

Guerra said that while there are two types of bottlenose dolphins – coastal bottlenose and an offshore bottlenose – both are quite social and stick together with others, and it would be hard to say if this dolphin had been swimming through the waters off New Bedford on his own.

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