TWO Royal Navy engineers discovered a dead dolphin in their garden.

Gary Harvey and Mike Elliott woke up to find the dead marine mammal lying in the front garden at their home in Courtlands Road, Weston.

Mr Harvey, 23, said: "I looked out the window to see what the weather was like and I just saw it lying there. I didn't have a clue what it was.

"I came down to have a closer look and saw it was a dolphin or porpoise about two or three feet long.

"To be honest at first I thought it was a garden ornament or something along those lines, but when I smelt it and saw its teeth I realised it was a real dolphin.

"I didn't know what to do with it. I tried to lift it up and it was quite heavy so we decided to leave it.

"I went into Weymouth Police Station and reported it because obviously they are an endangered species."

Mr Elliott, 28, added: "Gary told me to look out the window. When I saw it I was just a bit scared - it's not something you expect to see every day!

"We thought it wasn't real at first and we were going to move it ourselves, but then we thought we would leave it to the police.

"It could have been some sort of sick joke, but it's pretty sad for someone to go and do that."

Mr Harvey said he was gobsmacked' and had absolutely no idea how the creature came to be in their garden.

He said: "I didn't hear anything. It must have happened between when I last looked out at 11pm and when I got up at 6am.

"It may have been a kind of prank that has just gone over the top, but we haven't had any trouble round this area before."

PC Garry Mason said: "We have been in touch with our marine section and dolphins can carry quite nasty diseases so it has be referred to the local authority's environmental health team, who will come up and recover the species.

"All our enquiries have led to a blank at the moment. Nobody has seen or heard anything but we would request anybody with information to get in touch."

PC Mason added that it was currently unknown whether the dolphin had been killed maliciously.

Witnesses or anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police on 01305 222222.

A spokesman for Weymouth and Portland Borough Council confirmed the environmental health team had removed the dolphin and will carry out tests on the dead mammal before disposing of it.