SURF CITY, NC (WECT) - Officials with UNCW's Marine Mammal Stranding Program confirm that a mature bottle-nosed female dolphin washed up at Surf City Sunday afternoon.
Ann Pabst says the dolphin was dead when it stranded on the beach. Samples have been sent off to labs to see if the dolphin has the morbillivirus. It's a deadly disease that's already killed hundreds of dolphins along the east coast and is similar to measles in humans.
Pabst says they got another call of a live stranded dolphin earlier on Sunday at Surf City. She says people on the beach pushed it back out into the ocean and they have no way of knowing if it was the same dolphin that washed up dead.
Earlier this month, another bottle-nosed dolphin washed up on Kure Beach. Officials say preliminary tests show the dolphin likely had the deadly disease, but confirmation tests have not been completed yet.