Veterinarians late Saturday afternoon euthanized a stranded dolphin calf found in the Elkhorn Slough in the Prunedale area of unincorporated Monterey County, a spokeswoman for the Marine Mammal Center said.
The dolphin stranded itself on a sandbar at about 3 p.m. Friday, but was swimming again Saturday, officials with Wildlife Emergency Services said.
A rescue team from the mammal center found the calf in deteriorating condition though and attempts to find its mother were unsuccessful, center spokeswoman Laura Sherr said.
The calf was not old enough to care for itself, Sherr said.
A search for the mother by boat and a flyover by the U.S. Coast Guard both proved unsuccessful, Sherr said.
The rescue team determined the most humane thing to do was to put the calf to sleep, she said.
The center’s veterinarians consulted with the National Marine Fisheries Service before euthanizing the animal, Sherr said.