SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Marine rescue workers carefully lifted a trapped male porpoise out of a small Santa Clara creek Thursday, but lost the race against time while en route to a Sausalito recovery facility, authorities said.
The porpoise – nicknamed Bucky by firefighters -- was first spotted in San Tomas Aquino Creek near the Great America Theme Park in Santa Clara early Thursday morning. A rescue crew from the Marin Marine Mammal Center did not arrive on the scene for hours and by that time the mammal was in severe distress.
Marine Mammal Center spokesman Jim Oswald said the center received a call around 10:30 a.m. about a porpoise or dolphin that had found its way into the creek located 3-5 miles from the San Francisco Bay.
A crowd quickly gathered on a foot bridge spanning the waterway as the porpoise swam nervously back and forth.
Oswald said the rescue team which arrived in the early afternoon hours consisted of two volunteers and a veterinarian, who assessed the animal's medical condition. However, it was feared the attempt came too late.
The porpoise was placed in a van, wrapped in wet blankets and buckets of water were taken aboard to keep it wet.