IFAW Rescues Four Stranded Dolphins On Cape Cod

Cape Cod juts out from the Massachusetts coast like a flexed arm and has historically been a hot spot for marine animal strandings due to this feature. It’s reputation held true with a stranding event yesterday in Wellfleet, MA. Often times whales, dolphins, and even sea turtles will be migrating along the coast and find themselves trapped on the beaches of Cape Cod. Yesterday morning a Fin whale and four Common Dolphins were reported to IFAW’s Marine Mammal Rescue Team. Instantly the team rapidly assembled a response and headed to Wellfleet.

While some marine mammals, such as seals, naturally spend time on shore, most everything else stays in the water. (ok, another exception that just popped in my head is Sea Turtles coming ashore to lay eggs) When a whale or dolphin winds up on land it’s a life threatening situation that requires quick action. With powerful tails (called a fluke) and a streamlined shape these have evolved to live life in the water. A whale that weighs 30-tons moves effortlessly through the water, but will quickly crush its internal organs under its own weight when on land.

Luckily the Fin whale was herded out to sea yesterday morning and when we arrived on scene four Common Dolphins were sitting on the frozen ground. IFAW’s Marine Mammal Rescue Team and lots of volunteers showed up to help out with the rescue. The animals appeared healthy so we carefully carried them in stretchers to IFAW’s Emergency Response vehicle waiting near by. A brief road trip to Provincetown at the very tip of Cape Cod and they were one step closer to freedom. The reason we move them to this location is so we can release them where they can easily access open ocean. One of the dolphins was outfitted with a satellite tag that enables us to monitor how effectively we do our job of rescuing dolphins. So far two transmissions from the tag shows the dolphin heading away from land and out to sea.

Just another ordinary day for IFAW Marine Mammal Rescue Team and thanks to their efforts a group of dolphins which would have otherwise perished, are swimming free.

Check out the pictures and map below!

Take a look at this map and you'll understand why Cape Cod is such a hot spot for strandings of marine mammals.
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