A porpoise that was rescued from a creek near the Great America Theme Park in Santa Clara Thursday afternoon died while being transported to the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, a center spokesman said.
The young male harbor porpoise was rescued shortly after 2 p.m. from the San Tomas Aquinas Creek, where it had gotten stuck in some of the creek's vegetation, according to center spokesman Jim Oswald.
However, the animal died within minutes of being placed into one of the center's vehicles.
The mammal was discovered just outside the 49ers training facility.
The find quickly attracted a crowd of both onlookers and reporters alike.
By midday, the tide was starting to turn taking the water out, which put a real time pressure on the rescue effort.
If you know the area, you know that cops do motorcycle training in the parking lot next to the 49ers facility.
One of the officers spotted the mammal.
Stan Minasian at the Oceanic Society said he thinks the wayward creature is a Harbor Porpoise.
Minasian says it appeared to be healthy and somehow just lost its way. He said a sick porpoise would normally beach itself.
The wayward mammal was found around 10:30 a.m. and was on its way north by 2:30 p.m.
Oswald said that a necropsy will be conducted Friday to determine the porpoise's cause of death.
He said that "even in the death of a young porpoise we'll be able to learn something more about it and help learn how to help others" by collecting tissue samples and learning about potential illnesses.
The porpoise apparently swam between 5 and 7 miles from the San Francisco Bay through the Alviso Slough to where he was found, according to Susan Siravo, a spokeswoman for the district, which oversees the area's creeks and streams.