A full 30 days of stranding dolphins brings the count to 163

Well, Saturday marked one month since we began responding on 12 January, 2012.   

We've found two more dead common dolphins since my last post, bringing our total to 163 dolphins stranded during this event.

UPDATED #'s as of 2.17.12


  • Total stranded: 179
  • Found dead: 108
  • Found alive: 71
  • of the 71 animals found alive:
  • 53 were successfully released (75%)

Yesterday we had a young Atlantic white sided dolphin strand alive in Wellfleet. The female appeared to be a calf, probably over a year old. She must have come in on the high tide at about 2:00am - she was as high as she could get on the beach, wedged up against the bulkhead. 

Our early morning crew must not have been able to see her from above. This young dolphin was emaciated - so thin it was obvious she has been deteriorating for quite a while. She appeared dehydrated, her skin was peeling and cracking. 

We worked with our volunteers and colleagues from the Riverhead foundation in New York to extract her from the beach. We placed her on a soft foam mat to make her more comfortable while we did a quick exam. 

Her poor condition was obvious - very low breathing rate, emaciated, unresponsive. She was dying. The most humane thing we could do was to humanely euthanize her.  We put her to sleep the same way a vet would do for a beloved pet. She went very quietly. Although it is always hard to put an animal down, we knew it was the kindest thing we could do for this young dolphin.

We are now back at our operations base. Volunteer teams will be here to re-deploy in 30 minutes.  We will head out to monitor all of our usual stranding locations on the Outer Cape area for signs of animals stranded or swimming close to shore. Hopefully, today will be the first day in almost a month that we will not find any new dolphins in the area.


PS: Here's a WBUR Boston audioscape of from this weekend, click to visit the article page and the 'listen' button to listen.

Comments: 13

6 years ago

I am Dr David Cleveland and I live in Provincetown,MA. I listened to a conversation with Kate Moore this morning and decided to write and offer my help with stranded dolphins. I am very local to Herring Cove and to the Research Center. I would also be glad to put some learning time in, to understand how you work and the accepted way of rescuing. Further, I would like to share with you some information, that I have gathered, that could be a leading cause of recent strandings. Hope to hear from you, and here's a couple of ways to do that.

Cleveland78@live.com or P.O. Box 92 Provincetown, MA. 02657 or 508-487-1981,
508-487-1956 and lastly www.weddingcapecod.org
Thank you for all of the wonderful work you do!

6 years ago

Please if you could update this whenever you could i would realy appreciate it thanks.

6 years ago

What is killing so many Dolphins?


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Senior Program Advisor
Senior Program Advisor
Brian Sharp, Emergency Relief Officer, Stranding Coordinator
Manager, Marine Mammal Rescue and Research
Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Director, France and Francophone Africa
Director, France and Francophone Africa
IFAW Veterinarian
Gail A'Brunzo, Manager, Wildlife Rescue
Manager, Wildlife Rescue
Veterinarian, DVM, PhD
Veterinarian, DVM, PhD
Katie Moore, Deputy Vice President, Conservation and Animal Welfare
Deputy Vice President, Conservation and Animal Welfare
Loïs Lelanchon, Animal Rescue Program Officer
Animal Rescue Program Officer
Shannon Walajtys
Manager, Animal Rescue-Disasters
Vivek Menon, Director of IFAW partner, Wildlife Trust of India
Senior Advisor to the CEO on Strategic Partnerships & Philanthropy