Videos: Dead Dolphin Gets Towed Across The Sand By Beach Officials
Several beachgoers got quite a disturbing sight over the holiday weekend, when officials decided to dispose of a dead dolphin by dragging it over the sand behind a pickup truck.
"There's four park rangers and they couldn't pick up the dead dolphin—they have to tie it and drag it," says Justin Avila in a video he shot on Saturday at Ventura's Harbor Cove Beach. "I would think that there would be a better way than that. That's frickin' crazy."
Over the holiday weekend, Avila was visiting the beach with his family when they saw the upsetting scene. While it was certainly did not provide the best optics, the port's harbormaster said it was the most practical way of handling the situation.
"Our area tries really hard to provide exceptional services and the efficient removal of this dolphin was our best attempt to deal with a difficult situation," Ventura Harbor Patrol Harbormaster John Higgins told KTLA in an email. "The other option that could have been utilized would have been to leave it in place over the weekend and possibly longer."
Higgins said that loading it onto the truckbed would require the truck to be cleaned and decontaminated, and they wanted the truck to remain available for emergency services on the busy weekend. However, he did say his agency would "see how [they] might make the relocation of deceased animals more agreeable to the public."
Another beachgoer that Saturday, Jeffrey Mills, shot live video of officials tying up the dolphin carcass and dragging it away. "You'd think they'd have a better way to do that," says Mills. "It's kind of rough for the kids to see that."
In the Periscope video, Mills overhears the officials say a biologist would be performing an necropsy on the dolphin to determine how it died.