A baby bottlenose dolphin found stranded on the Imperial Beach shoreline Wednesday died during transport before it could receive treatment, a SeaWorld representative said Thursday.
A necropsy examination, or animal autopsy, will be performed to determine the cause of death, said Booker Crenshaw.
"He was obviously very sick when we found him on the beach," Crenshaw said.
Dolphins may strand themselves because they are sick or injured, he said.
Imperial Beach lifeguard Captain Robert Stabenow said the four-foot long animal had blood on its nose and scrapes on its back when it was found Wednesday around 8:45 a.m. by a family walking the beach.
Lifeguards Ben Holt and Matt Chism responded to the report to find the dolphin beached in the sand. Attempts to return the dolphin to the ocean were unscuccessful as the it repeatedly tried to get back to the shoreline.
SeaWorld Animal Rescue arrived about an hour after lifeguards first contacted the animal.