Yarmouth Port, Mass.) - Yesterday, rescuers from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW - www.ifaw.org) rushed to save a pod of Atlantic Whitesided dolphins stranded off the coast of Cape Cod.
FAW’s Marine Mammal Rescue team mobilized after reports that a pod of dolphins were trapped in the mud flats off Wellfleet, MA. A total of sixteen dolphins were found stranded in two locations, ten in Drummer’s Cove and six in Loagy Bay.
In Loagy Bay, four of the dolphins were rescued but one was found dead and another was in such poor health it had to be euthanized. In Drummer’s Cove, two dolphins were rescued but rescuers were unable to free eight others from waist-deep mud.
A total of six dolphins were rescued and released back to the sea. All six were in good health upon release. A group of trained volunteers and staff from the New England Aquarium also assisted with the rescue.
“It’s always difficult to find so many stranded animals,” said A.J. Cady, IFAW’s Deputy Director of Programs. “And although treacherous conditions made it impossible to rescue all the animals, we were able to give a second chance to six of these wonderful creatures.”
“Stranded” or “beached” refers to the condition where any marine mammal (seal, dolphin, porpoise, or whale) is found dead on shore or found on shore unable to return to the water without assistance.
In the last 10 years, IFAW has handled over 900 live animals. Thanks to improved medical examinations and supportive care, survivor rates of mass stranded dolphins and whales has increased from 14% in 2004 to more than 50% in 2009, one of the highest success rates in the world.