By Krysta Daniels
A family of dolphins was found in the Hackensack River in February, reported staff writer Scott Fallon of The Record. This part of the river is near Teaneck, Bogota, and Hackensack. I live right across the bridge the dolphins were near. I saw this on the front page of the Bergen Record and almost cried. I felt bad for these beautiful creatures that obviously got lost. I wanted to go home right then and there and see them.
The first thing that came to my mind was that they might not survive being so far from the sea, and why on earth were they in such disgusting water? I didn’t want them to be in such bad conditions. It was heart wrenching to see their beautiful bodies in that water. I would be horrified if I fell into that water, let alone had to put my entire body under the water. I couldn’t imagine what was running through their minds as they came through there.
The article said that eight to 15 of them were spotted near the Midtown Bridge, the bridge I walked to school on back in high school, on morning of Wednesday the 17th. And the irony is that they were very close to the Bergen Country Jail, and in my mind I thought of them being so closed in and captured in that environment, as if they were in prison.
The head of the Hackensack Riverkeeper group, Bill Sheehan, said there was enough food in the river this time of year to sustain a dolphin. And although that actually puts me at ease a little, I started to think of how healthy the food in this water is for dolphins. Yes we have seagull’s and many birds that eat from this river, but how many large animals like dolphins could live off of an area like the Hackensack River near my home and in February at that.
They are 300 pound animals and they need a very good amount of protein in order to survive.
So I figured the main concerns were the environment they were in, the cold, the salt in the water, and the pollution that is in the water. The article stated that the salinity of the water in this section of Hackensack is a fraction of what it is in the ocean.
The Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine was contacted very shortly after the sighting. The only problem with them being called is that they cannot act or do anything for the dolphins until they are in distress. I would think they could just pick them up and tug them out of there, but I was sadly mistaken.
The center’s director made a comment when he saw the dolphins saying that they were still swimming when he saw them. That made me smile to know that they were okay. It gave me hope that they would make it back safely. I just really wish I could have seen them with my own eyes.