SABINE PASS, Texas — In the span of five weeks, two dolphins washed ashore on Southeast Texas beaches near Sea Rim State Park and later died.
Beachgoers found one on July 5 with another being rescued this past weekend on August 10.
Nathan Londenberg, Sea Rim State Park superintendent said "The main thing is we want to make sure people are aware that you don't put the dolphin in the water."
For both sightings, volunteers from the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network (TMMSN) in Galveston rushed over.
The people on the beach did what they could to protect the dolphins from the sun until the TMMSN personnel got there.
"We cover the animal as well with blankets or towels, wet blankets because we need to keep the skin moist and help regulate its temperature," said Londenberg. "When you put these blankets over the animal, you do not want to cover the dorsal fin."
Dolphins use their dorsal fins to regulate their body temperature.
The reason for them coming ashore is to show that something isn't right, according to Londenberg.
"If they come to shore, they do it intentionally because dolphins are very good swimmers," said Londenberg. "The reason why they come to shore is because they're sick, injured or something's wrong with them and they're having problems breathing out there in the water."
Both dolphins have died since they arrived at the Galveston facility.
The first, from July, died from an apparent central nervous system disorder.
It's still unclear what happened to the second dolphin, but volunteers plan to do a neocropsy.
"They determined it would be better for the animal to go ahead and put it down, so that one in July was put down," said Londenberg. "Then, the one that was rescued this past weekend on Saturday, it deceased on its own."
Dolphins stranding themselves on the beach does happen occasionally, but two sightings this close together are rare.
Londenberg said "That's rare, we don't typically have that many dolphins come up in a short period of time."
He adds that TMMSN is looking for help in Southeast Texas.
If animals are stranded locally, it takes time for volunteers to get there and having people capable of assisting the animal can be crucial to its survival.
Londenberg said "That would definitely be helpful for them."
If you'd like to help, you can click here.