Stranding Center Deals with Costs of Dolphin Deaths [AUDIO]
With 64 dolphins washing up ashore this summer, the non-profit organization responsible for the study of these animals is facing additional financial burdens.
Bob Schoelkopf of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine says whenever one of the animals washes up, they are contacted by authorities. If the mammal is recently dead and in good condition, they will take it for research.
"It goes to the stranding center first, where we get measurements and photographs, and then the animal is taken to the laboratory in Chester, PA, where it's worked on and organ samples are taken and then it's incinerated." Explains Schoelkopf.
If the animal is not able to be analyzed, the Stranding Center doesn't take it and the municipality is responsible for the animal's disposal. If the animal lands on private property the owners could be responsible for the costs.
Schoelkopf says the costs of bringing in each dolphin for research and analysis runs in the hundreds.
"It's quite expensive. It's $200 just for the processing of the animal at the lab, plus it's a four-hour transport and we're paying for fuel, tolls, and everything else," he explained.
"We're footing the bill, we're a non-profit, but we're paying for everything."
With so many dolphins washing up this season, Schoelkopf says the Center has been struggling to pay for the expenses. He notes they are soliciting donations.