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6 dolphins rescued and released off Cape Cod in the last week

Four were rescued and released last Thursday, and the other two on Monday.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare rescued four dolphins off of Cape Cod last Thursday before releasing them. International Fund for Animal Welfare

Two dolphins were rescued and released off of Cape Cod Monday, bringing the total number of dolphins released on the Cape this past week to six.

The two dolphins were in just one to two feet of water at Point of Rocks in Brewster when they were found early Monday morning, according to NBC 10 Boston.

The person who found them called the International Fund for Animal Welfare, which released the dolphins at Herring Cove Beach in Provincetown later that morning.

Last week on Thursday, IFAW released four dolphins back into the wild in Provincetown, it said in a news release. The dolphins had become stranded in Wellfleet Harbor.

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IFAW said it got the first report of several animals close to shore near Provincetown Wednesday afternoon. One dolphin was already stranded, but was pushed off by bystanders.

Further human interference on land and by boat led to increased stress for the dolphins before responders could arrive, the IFAW said. The IFAW team spotted the dolphins swimming farther offshore near Truro later that day, but the tide was incoming and prevented them from intervening.

“By morning light on Thursday, volunteer responders identified four common dolphins swimming near the Wellfleet Pier, and we knew something had to be done,” Brian Sharp, IFAW’s Director of Marine Mammal Rescue & Research said in the release.

“We were concerned by the animals’ behavior and the dropping tide given our previous experience with summer boat traffic and heat. In consultation with NOAA, we made the decision to herd the dolphins closer to shore for the best chance of a successful rescue.” 

IFAW said they carefully coaxed the dolphins toward shallow water and away from a dangerous stranding area known as Chipman’s Cove so that they could be put on a stretcher.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare rescued four dolphins off of Cape Cod last Thursday before releasing them. – International Fund for Animal Welfare
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All four dolphins were taken to a deeper water release site off Provincetown in IFAW’s mobile dolphin rescue clinic, the non-profit said. The truck enables IFAW veterinarians and experts to assess a dolphin’s health and stabilize them while quickly travelling to the best site for release.

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The dolphins were released as a pod and swam off closely together, the IFAW said.

Back in May, the IFAW rescued and released seven dolphins trapped in the Herring River. In April, it rescued two massive dolphins — one 550 pounds and the other 726 pounds.

The shores of Cape Cod are a global hotspot for dolphin and whale strandings, according to the IFAW. Dolphins get stranded there more often than anywhere else in the world, it said.

IFAW said nearly 80% of stranded dolphins they rescue are able to be released back into the wild.

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