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Marine expert: Dolphin may have been ill before wandering into polluted NY canal and dying

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    ADDS THAT THE DOLPHIN HAS DIED - A dolphin surfaces in the Gowanus Canal in the Brooklyn borough of New York, Friday, Jan. 25, 2013. The New York City Police Dept. said animal experts were waiting to see if the dolphin would leave on its own during the evening's high tide. A wayward dolphin that meandered into a polluted urban canal, riveting onlookers as it splashed around in the filthy water and shook black gunk from its snout, died Friday evening, marine experts said. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) (The Associated Press)

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    ADDS THAT THE DOLPHIN HAS DIED - A dolphin surfaces in the Gowanus Canal in the Brooklyn borough of New York, Friday, Jan. 25, 2013. The New York City Police Dept. said animal experts were waiting to see if the dolphin would leave on its own during the evening's high tide. If not, they plan to lend a hand on Saturday morning. A wayward dolphin that meandered into a polluted urban canal, riveting onlookers as it splashed around in the filthy water and shook black gunk from its snout, died Friday evening, marine experts said. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) (The Associated Press)

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    ADDS THAT THE DOLPHIN HAS DIED - A dolphin surfaces in the Gowanus Canal with debris on its nose, in the Brooklyn borough of New York, Friday, Jan. 25, 2013. The New York City Police Dept. said animal experts were waiting to see if the dolphin would leave on its own during the evening's high tide. A wayward dolphin that meandered into a polluted urban canal, riveting onlookers as it splashed around in the filthy water and shook black gunk from its snout, died Friday evening, marine experts said. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) (The Associated Press)

  • 00f8f5f82428ab03270f6a706700085d.jpg

    ADDS THAT THE DOLPHIN HAS DIED - A dolphin surfaces in the Gowanus Canal in the Brooklyn borough of New York, Friday, Jan. 25, 2013. The New York City Police Dept. said animal experts were waiting to see if the dolphin would leave on its own during the evening's high tide. A wayward dolphin that meandered into a polluted urban canal, riveting onlookers as it splashed around in the filthy water and shook black gunk from its snout, died Friday evening, marine experts said. .(AP Photo/Richard Drew) (The Associated Press)

  • e8c409df2426ab03270f6a706700f64d.jpg

    ADDS THAT THE DOLPHIN HAS DIED - A dolphin surfaces in the Gowanus Canal in the Brooklyn borough of New York, Friday, Jan. 25, 2013. The New York City Police Dept. said animal experts were waiting to see if the dolphin would leave on its own during the evening's high tide. A wayward dolphin that meandered into a polluted urban canal, riveting onlookers as it splashed around in the filthy water and shook black gunk from its snout, died Friday evening, marine experts said. .(AP Photo/Richard Drew) (The Associated Press)

Marine experts say a dolphin seen shaking black gunk from its snout after wandering into a polluted canal in New York may well have been ill before it lost its way and died.

The wayward dolphin splashed around in the filthy waters of the Gowanus Canal before it died Friday. The canal is a Superfund site, where for years factories and fuel refineries operated. It runs through an industrial zone near some of Brooklyn's wealthiest neighborhoods.

Marine experts had planned to help the dolphin on Saturday morning if it didn't get out of the canal during high tide. They had decided to hold off intervening Friday because of the stress the dolphin might have experienced in being captured.

Experts plan to conduct a necropsy to determine why the dolphin died.

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