Wayward Porpoise Dies After Rescue

By Lori Preuitt
|  Friday, Aug 7, 2009  |  Updated 6:55 AM PDT
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Sea World Animals Hit the Road

McGough Family

This is not the porpoise in question, but you get the picture.

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Wayward Porpise Confuses Everyone

A wayward porpoise ended up seven miles inland on Thursday and the result was tragic.

Wayward Porpoise Dies Following Rescue

A porpoise that was rescued from a creek near the Great America Theme Park in Santa Clara this afternoon died while being transported to the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito.
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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.

Experts from the Marine Mammal Center out of Sausalito came down and made quick work of rescuing the animal, but then came word of his death.

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.

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