HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – A dolphin that became a viral star after video of the animal, seen swimming in the Waccamaw River, was shared on social media over the weekend has been found dead.
Wayne McFee, a research wildlife biologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said the dolphin was found around 8 a.m. Tuesday near the Old Reaves Ferry Landing by Coastal Carolina University professor Robert Young, who runs the S.C. Marine Mammal Stranding Network.
McFee said the animal is being brought to a Charleston lab and a necropsy is scheduled for Wednesday morning to determine just how it died.
He added that dolphins can tolerate freshwater exposure for extended periods of time. The health of the animal, according to McFee, plays a role in how long it can endure freshwater, which could range from a week up to a month.
Captain Roy with First Strike Charters captured video of the dolphin swimming in the Waccamaw. It was shared on the Waccamaw Outfitters’ Facebook page Sunday
By 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, it had almost 26,000 views and had been shared over 500 times.