The RSPCA is said to be monitoring the condition of a dolphin which swam into Chichester Harbour this morning.
The animal was spotted beached on mud in Bosham Hoe earlier today.
Although a rescue team managed to refloat the common dolphin, it is said to be swimming around languidly, forcing the RSPCA to consider whether or not to put the animal down.
Chichester harbour master Richard Craven said: “The dolphin was spotted by someone in Bosham Hoe on the mud earlier this morning.
“We sent some personnel down there to try to help it as much as we could. The RSPCA and a vet came along and as the tide came in it managed to refloat it.
“The last I heard was that the dolphin was swimming around languidly and they are monitoring it. Soon a decision will be made whether or not to euthanize it, or whether it’s strong enough to swim away on its own steam.”
Richard Austin, AONB manager at Chichester Harbour Conservancy, tweeted a picture of the animal, saying: “Look what turned-up in #Chichester Harbour #AONB today, a Common Dolphin. We’re doing all we can to try and save it.”
It is thought to be the first dolphin spotted in Chichester Harbour for more than a decade.
“It’s not a common sight, in the last 15 years there’s been a couple of porpoises and even a whale, but I think this is the first dolphin,” said Mr Craven.
“So it’s not unprecedented but it’s certainly uncommon.”
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