Dolphins have privacy rights?

What killed Old Bridge's South River dolphin? That's what reporter Carly Sitrin wanted to find out after the dolphin died in August.

Sitrin filed an open public records request with the state Department of Agriculture for the animal's necropsy results. Shockingly, DOA denied her request six months later out of respect to "the individual privacy of the dolphin."

What kind of legal privacy does a dolphin deserve? Sitrin was especially baffled, as the state has released other necropsy reports.

J. Patrick Brown of, an online public records resource and investigative journalism site, said New Jersey has a growing record of problematic OPRA denials in the last year.

But according to Bob Schoelkoplf of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine, the organization that rescued the dolphin, this is a big misunderstanding. He says the MMSC commissioned the state to conduct the necropsy, so the test results belong to him, not the state.

Schoelkopf said the Department of Agriculture should simply have redirected Sitrin to his organization instead of denying her request outright.

Up Next:

Up Next

  • Dolphins have privacy rights?
  • Who is the mystery 3rd floor griller?
  • Twin sisters deliver baby boys on same day just hours apart
  • Local drum corps trying to get to world championships
  • Police honor 8-year-old who paid for officer's meal
  • The spot in New York City where 1 million people are buried
  • Homeless man fights for his dumpster home
  • The mystery of the Gay Street cross
  • Couple provides hospice care for homeless dogs
  • NJ town orders tribe to take down teepees