Three hundred dolphins in Wellfleet harbor on Cape Cod were successfully guided out to safety in the ocean by volunteers with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).
It’s likely that the dolphins were waiting in the harbor because seven of their number had become stranded.
“Like us humans, dolphins are high social animals,” said Zoe science editor Dr. Lori Marino. “They may have gathered to see what was going on with friends and family members and to try to do what they could to help.”
The IFAW’s Michael Booth said the group used underwater sonic devices and boats. “Fortunately, with a lot of help from the harbor master, we were able to herd them out of the harbor,” he said.
Of the seven dolphins who were stranded, two did not survive. The other five were taken to the IFAW mobile unit for treatment. Then one of them had a tracking device implanted, and they were all released back to the ocean.
Many more dolphins have been stranded on Cape Cod in recent weeks. Rescue manager Katie Moore explained that “the topography of the Cape is likely a factor, with its hook-like shape, gently sloping beaches and extensive sand and mud flats.”
“The number of total dolphins that have stranded is up to around 90,” Booth said. “Of those, we have seen around 35 of them stranding alive, and now with these new 5 dolphins, we’ve successfully released 24.”