Sunday, January 01, 2006

5 Common dolphins stranded at Mayo Beach, Cape Cod

January 1, 2006

Dolphin strandings sour end of 2005
By SEAN GONSALVES
STAFF WRITER
WELLFLEET - Volunteers and staff members of the Cape Cod Stranding Network were busy on the final weekend of 2005, as they've been all year.

Yesterday, network members euthanized a common dolphin discovered by volunteers on Lieutenants Island, according to network coordinator Kristen Patchett.
''When we arrived, the dolphin was showing signs of being in shock. We ended up euthanizing the animal at about noon,'' she said.

Patchett said the dolphin was likely part of the same group of dolphins that had beached themselves at Mayo Beach on Friday afternoon.
Those four dolphins, she said, were not in shock and appeared to be relatively healthy when they were found.

The dolphins were transported on a flatbed truck to Provincetown, where their dorsal fins were tagged with an orange marker before they were released at Herring Cove.
The five dolphin strandings over the weekend, Patchett said, capped off a busy year. The Cape Cod area averages about 205 strandings year - from whales to dolphins.
This year network members were called to 315 strandings, Pachett said.
Though stranded sea animals can give scientists a sense of the health of the ocean, Patchett said strandings are common occurrences on the Cape going back thousands of years, and yesterday's strandings should not necessarily be seen as a cause for alarm.
However, Patchett said, ''if people find stranded marine mammals on the beach, they should not try to return them to the water but call our hotline.''

The hotline number is 508-743-9548.

Sean Gonsalves can be reached at sgonsalves@capecodonline.com.

(Published: January 1, 2006)






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