Bluffton resident Jimmy McIntire was fishing from his boat Tuesday afternoon when he noticed something unusual floating near Myrtle Island in the May River.
Piloting closer to investigate, he discovered a dead dolphin -- with a conspicuous bite taken out of it.
"It was definitely from a shark," he said. "Must have been quite a large one, too."
A few miles downriver -- in a marsh along Bull Creek near the Calibogue Sound -- he came across another dolphin carcass, this one badly decomposed.
"I'd only seen one (dead dolphin) my whole life before this," he said. "To see two in one afternoon, it just seemed very unusual."
Those answers, said (National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science)wildlife biologist Wayne McFee, are of vital importance -- and they grow increasingly difficult to obtain with every minute the missing carcass spends in the river.