THE dolphin that washed up on Sandown beach died from a bacterial infection, an autopsy has found.

The postmortem, carried out Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP), also found rope in the animal's stomach and evidence of a grey seal fight.

Rob Deaville, from the Zoological Society of London and CSIP, said: "Along with a few bone fragments and fish ear bones, a single small piece of green multifilament rope was also present in the first stomach. This ingestion of marine debris was considered to be an incidental finding and was not a significant factor in the dolphins live stranding."

Gamella bacteria and light parasitic burdens were present in all three stomachs and there was no evidence of a recent feeding.

Rob said the presence of the bacteria explained the animal's abnormal behaviour during the stranding.

It is believed the dolphin was a member of the pod at Lyme Bay.

For more details about the dolphin rescue, including photos, see this week's County Press.with just o