Three hundred volunteers have been mobilized to the beaches of Cape Cod after a mass beaching of dolphins washed more than 60 animals ashore. Of that number, 19 were rescued. Twenty-seven will not survive a transfer back to the ocean and 32 were already dead.
Beachings are common in the area but Katie Moore, manager of marine mammal rescue and research for the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), explained that mass events such as this are uncommon. "It feels like stranding after stranding after stranding," she said, "it's definitely out of the ordinary."Though the cause of the event is still unknown, experts with the IFAW believe they are related. Though such events are uncommon, they are not unheard of. Cape Cod, too, is known as a location where these events can happen. Often, weather and tide disturbances confuse the animals, causing them to slip into shallow water.
Mass stranding events can, however, be caused by stress—particularly that caused by human actions. IFAW reports that they believe this most recent event to be the result of natural causes but added that they do watch for possible human impacts on dolphins.