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Stranded Dolphins Rescued Off Cape Cod, Released Back Into The Ocean

PROVINCETOWN (CBS) -- Ten dolphins were released into the ocean by an International Fund for Animal Welfare team on Tuesday.

Eighteen Atlantic white-sided dolphins were found stranded near Blackfish Creek in Wellfleet around 6 a.m. Eight did not make it, according to IFAW. They deal with more than 200 strandings a year.

Experts say the shores of the town between the tip and the elbow of Cape Cod is a trap for dolphins.

"Cape Cod is a very busy stranding area, it's a hot spot in the world," said IFAW veterinarian Dr. Sarah Sharp. "When dolphins get into that area if they don't leave soon enough and the tide starts to go out, they can become confused very easily."

"The extraction was really hard, where these dolphins were was in a really tough spot, lots of mud," said stranding coordinator Kristen Patchett, who describes IFAW as a mobile emergency room for dolphins. "We try to asses their dehydration, but we primarily are treating shock and stress."

Dolphin rescue
Dolphin rescued in Wellfleet (Photo credit IFAW/Julia Cumes)

Once they're cleared by the medical team, the dolphins are tagged and given a new chance at life.

The dolphins were released into the waters off Herring Cove Beach in Provincetown. Eight were females, 2 were males.

At least one pair of dolphins appeared to be released together.

IFAW said that last year was a record year for strandings, with their team responding to 420 of them. They said this year is busy but nowhere near record pace.

They say each stranding is a race against time so they urge beach-goers to call a rescue team if they notice a marine animal in distress, rather than approaching it.

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