On Monday, 18 February the Plett Stranding Network was notified of a dolphin carcass washed ashore in Buffalo Bay. As photos of the animal were sent through, it became clear that this was no ordinary bottlenose dolphin stranding, but an exceptionally rare stranding of one of South Africa’s endangered Indian Ocean humpback dolphins. Despite being highly coastal in nature, there have only been four strandings of the species along the south coast previously that we are aware of. The low frequency of strandings for the species is most likely a result of their low population numbers and densities off South Africa, with only 500 individuals believed to occur in our coastal waters. A full dissection of the animal to collect samples was therefore extremely important. Together with volunteers from the ORCA Foundation and NVT, and other members of the Plett Stranding Network, we rushed through to Goukamma where the dissection was to take place. The humpback dolphin was an adult male, very thin with a number of shark bites over its body. Standard photographs, measurements and samples were collected on behalf of the Port Elizabeth Museum, where it will be processed at a later stage to gain further insight into the biology of the species and the potential cause of death. Photographs of the animal’s dorsal fin were checked for any matches within the regional and national catalogue for the species by members of South Africa’s SouSA consortium. The animal was quickly matched to an individual known as Tracy, named during Danielle Conry’s MSc research prior to knowing its sex. Tracy was first photographed by Danielle along the Garden Route in January 2015. He was seen on two different occasions in that first month, first within Plettenberg Bay and two days later, slightly further east, within the Tsitsikamma Marine Protected Area. The last sighting of Tracy was on 18 December 2018, two months before he was found dead on the beach. During this final sighting, he was again seen in Plettenberg Bay, this time during one of the surveys for the Plettenberg Bay Humpback Dolphin Project. At the time there were no signs of illness, injury or emaciation. A week after his stranding, along with Dr. Gwen Penry (also a member of the SouSA consortium) and volunteers from the ORCA Foundation and NVT, we dissected Tracy’s stomach with high hopes of finding prey remains. To our knowledge, this is only the third humpback dolphin stomach dissected for the south coast population which meant the contents thereof would be very important to gain more knowledge into the population’s diet. Unfortunately, the stomach was empty but contained a large number of parasitic worms. This may be due to a weakened immune system. The outside surface of the stomach was also covered in a number of hard lumps and a large ulcer was observed in the first compartment. Samples of the parasites, stomach lining of the three chambers and all abnormalities were taken for further analysis at the Port Elizabeth Museum. Overall it appears that Tracy was in poor health and had not eaten in the time before his death. Although it is sad to lose one of these endangered dolphins, and one that is locally known, some level of natural mortality is normal, and we hope that the future analysis of pathological samples will provide more clues into the cause of death.