More Than 100 Dolphins Stranded On Muddy Cape Cod Beach In Frantic Rescue
Photo by Joe Raedle/Newsmakers

More Than 100 Dolphins Stranded On Muddy Cape Cod Beach In Frantic Rescue

Rescuers rushed against the clock in a frantic mad dash to save more than 100 dolphins after they became trapped on the muddy beaches of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The animals became stranded and would have died if not for rescuers' intervention.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare became aware of the situation on Friday morning, according to the New York Post. Initially, the call said it was around 10 Atlantic white-sided dolphins trapped close to shore. However when members of the organization arrived on the beach, they realized they had their work cut out for them. They discovered 125 dolphins trapped in the muddy dirt of Wellfleet. It was at Great Island at the Herring River, also called Gut. Sadly, 10 had already died.

The dolphin ordeal was "the largest single mass stranding event" that the organization dealt with ever. They called on 150 people to help save the dolphins. It took them more than 12 hours to get the dolphins out back to sea.

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Dolphins Stranded

"The dolphins were herded in a highly coordinated response effort to encourage their movement back to deeper waters, first on foot and then switching to boating efforts as the water returned to high tide at 4:56 pm," the organization said in the release. "Two IFAW vessels and the Wellfleet Harbormaster continued their efforts until sunset at 8:15 pm."

The volunteers managed to get all but 10 to 15 dolphins out into the deeper waters before the end of the day. "We assume those remaining found their way," the representative said. Overall, Cape Cod remains a tough area for dolphins. Mass strandings happen frequently meaning organizations like this are crucial to save the animals.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare averages calls to 268 strandings per year, according to the representative.

"Dolphin and porpoise strandings on Cape Cod are driven primarily by the gently sloping sand flats, large tidal fluctuations, close proximity to productive feeding grounds, social nature of the species that strand, and the hook-like shape of the Cape itself," the spokeswoman said. "Many of the dolphins and porpoises that strand in this area have no clinically significant pre-existing diseases that cause them to strand."