Katie Moore, manager of Marine Mammal Rescue and Research for the International Fund for Animals (IFAW) posted a message on the Feb 24 edition of a marine-mammal news digest called MARMAM updating subscribers on “the protracted mass stranding event of common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) along the shores of Cape Cod, MA USA.” Many people had no doubt already seen news coverage of the event, Moore wrote. “We wanted to provide you with information directly from the lead response team.”
Moore’s main points: After 36 days — Jan 12 to Feb 16, 2012 — the strandings finally seem to have ceased. During that time, 179 dolphins stranded in the tidal mud flats along Cape Cod’s crooked-arm, inner shores. Of that total, 108 dolphins were found dead, 71 were found alive, 53 were rescued and released, the rest didn’t make it— and researchers still don’t know why it happened.
Here’s something else most people probably don’t know: what it took for IFAW’s staff and trained volunteers to save the 53 dolphins they did rescue — what grueling, exhausting, cold-wet-dirty work went into reaching, treating, transporting and releasing Every. Single. One.
See for yourself. It’s all here in the following three short IFAW video reports. The first, starting at about 48 seconds in, provides an initial close-hand look at some of what these humans undertook and endured to try to help these dolphins. No fun, that’s for sure. To watch this 4:30 video, click the image below:
The second video conveys a more intimate sense of what this experience was like for these dolphins. Look into their eyes, listen to their breathing and see if you aren’t near tears by the end. To watch this 3:50 video, click the image below:
The third video offers the fullest sense of what this experience was like for both species: one ocean-going, one land-dwelling; both big-brained, intelligent, self-aware, family-oriented, socially sophisticated, air-breathing mammals — so different and yet so alike in so many ways. To watch this 5:22 video, click the image below:
Each video offers something the others don’t. Together, they’re extremely powerful. What can anyone who cares about dolphins say after watching them except:
Thank you, IFAW staff and volunteers. Bless you….
You give being human a good name.
• To learn more about IFAW, click here.
• To learn more about IFAW’s Marine Mammal Rescue and Research group, click here.
• To read more news reports about the stranding and sign up to train as an IFAW MMRR volunteer, click here.
• To see more moving photos of the humans and dolphins who were brought together during this event, click here.