Marine Mammal Rescue and Research team release 11 stranded dolphins

IFAW MMRR teams test the hearing of a dolphin stranded on Cape Cod. The team is gathering important data ideally to aid in conservation measures to protect marine mammals from ocean noise.Following a week-long meeting on whale conservation with the International Fund for Animal Welfare whale team in Reykjavik, Iceland, I was welcomed home Saturday morning with a briefing and news from day two of an ongoing mass dolphin standing. 

I write this post now after day three with just a little jet lag.  ;)

Friday we received reports of about 37 to 40 dolphins stranded all along the shores of Cape Cod Bay across about five towns.  Many were already dead, and some were logistically impossible to reach, but we were able to respond to 13 live animals, and 11 were healthy enough to release…unfortunately one died and the other was euthanized due to injury. 

One animal faltered upon release and was found dead today...a set back, however, the other 10 seem to be doing well.

Two have satellite tags and are apparently traveling well. We also were able to test the hearing on one animal...important data for our project which will hopefully aid in conservation measures to protect marine mammals from ocean noise.

After a late night cleaning gear, we all made it home though not in time to see the Patriots game to which I had tickets! Such are the sacrifices one makes when duty calls… ;(

Yesterday (Sunday, day two) we started the arduous task of collecting data from the remaining dead animals. This is important so that we learn as much as we can to better understand why these mass strandings happen. 

The highlight of the day was rescuing one more animal that we released this afternoon with a satellite tag. All indications so far are that it's doing great.

Well, the winter got off to a slow start, but stranding season is in full swing now.  The team has been putting in 12 to 15 hour days for a while now. Wish us luck in keeping up the pace and although this cold weather is making responses even tougher, it helps to have such an outstanding team, wonderful volunteers and supporters around the world who care.

So far so good...we've been able to successfully release 11 of the 15 live animals we've responded too. All we can do now is hope tomorrow, the dolphins stay at sea.

-- KM

Comments: 16

6 years ago

Thank you.

6 years ago

You are doing great work!! Thank you for all you do for the animals!!

6 years ago

Does anyone know why these animals strand themselves? And, why so many at time? They can't all be sick or dying can they? I know pilot whales also strand themselves in large numbers at the same time. Please let me know what you discover, it's just so sad that these beautiful animals do this, and I'm very interested to learn the answer.

And, I wanted to thank you Katie, and your team for your hard work and dedication to saving these animals. You guys Rock!!


6 years ago

Thank you so much for all you do! I have hearing that there is another stranding but we all know it will happen during the winter months...and as long as there are volunteers and IFAW i know the dolphins have a chance to survive.

6 years ago

Katie and Your Crew< Thanks for the efforts and the wonderful success in the rescue. Please keeep up the good work. Stories like this are why I donate to thefund.

6 years ago

Thank you so much for your hard work...i'm so sad about this. Ocean noise is the culprit, isn't it??

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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