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

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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
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
Consulting Senior Advisor to the CEO on Strategic Partnerships & Philanthropy