One of the largest common dolphin stranding events on record is continuing in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Thankfully, staff and volunteers from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) also are continuing to help as many of the stranded creatures as possible. In this video, you can see what it takes. The images of stranded dolphins, and humans giving them a hand, are both breathtaking.
According to the latest info from IFAW, there have been 161 dolphin strandings since Jan. 12 (in less than 30 days). IFAW has been working with organizations including the New England Aquarium, the state of Maine, and the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation in New York to monitor beaches for dolphins and return stranded creatures to the water.
"So far, 57 dolphins have been found alive and 40 of these have been released," writes Katie Moore, who manages IFAW's Marine Mammal Rescue and Research team. "That's a 70% success rate - our highest release rate ever!"
On the flip side, most of the animals, a total of 104, died before being discovered, Moore adds.
Why is this happening? The IFAW is collecting data to help answer the age-old question.
"Scientists are having a hard time explaining the dolphin strandings," NPR reports. "Some say Cape Cod's hooked shape traps dolphins that swim into the bay and then can't find their way out. The cape also has numerous creeks and sand flats, as well as 9-foot tide fluctuations."
Moore adds that dolphins also are social animals, which may be contributing to the problem.
The IFAW says its resources are being stretched thin and they're seeking donations.
See earlier coverage by David here, "More Than 60 Dolphins Wash Ashore in Cape Cod."