To say we were all captivated by the story of the Gowanus Canal dolphin last week would be a massive understatement. What really concerned people during the saga was the fact that the dolphin was swimming in a soup of PCBs, heavy metals and oil slicks, which no one thought was good for the dolphin. But now initial test results on the dolphin’s corpse show that the Gowanus Canal didn’t poison Brooklyn’s temporary community pet, wasting all our jokes about the situation.
The Riverhead Foundation, which came under heavy criticism for not sending a team of pollution-resistant divers in to the canal to save the dolphin, have shared initial necropsy results that showed the dolphin was already sick. Really, really sick, suffering from parasites, kidney stones and ulcers. All of that combines to turn the story from one of bureaucratic impotence to one in which we’re starkly and sadly reminded of our own mortality. And so early in the week too.