Wednesday, 8 August 2012

First confirmed successful refloat of stranded dolphin

Refloated dolphin seen 3 weeks later - Courtesy of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group
August 2012. A bottlenose dolphin that live-stranded in North Kerry and was refloated, was recently photographed from dolphin tour boats in the Shannon Estuary. This is one of just a few occasions when there is proof that refloating a dolphin had some long-term sucess.
Stranded in Co Kerry
A bottlenose dolphin live-stranded at Béal, Co. Kerry, on the shores of the Shannon Estuary, on 1 June 2012. The 3.5m female bottlenose dolphin was lying on the sand about 10m from the waterline, but appeared to be in perfect condition and had no signs of injury. She didn't seem in a very distressed state despite her predicament and her skin was still moist, but she was starting to overheat.
Rather than wait for the whale pontoons to arrive from Kilrush in Co. Clare on the other side of the estuary, those present at the stranding decided to try using a tractor equipped with a large transport box on the back to lift her out of the sand and put her slowly into the water. Once in the water, they stabilised the dolphin for a few minutes and allowed her to become acclimatised, before she started to swim away from the shore. She quickly increased her swimming speed and was observed swimming for about 10 minutes before she was out of view.

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