COA Allied Whale helps the beached dolphin successfully return to the sea. COA Allied Whale helps the beached dolphin successfully return to the sea. Credit: COA Allied Whale

An official with Allied Whale, a marine mammal research group at the College of the Atlantic, said Monday that rescuers are not sure why the juvenile male dolphin swam into a narrow cove near the village of West Tremont. White-sided dolphins, which are believed to number in the tens of thousands in the Gulf of Maine and are considered to be abundant, are common seasonally off MDI but prefer deep water, according to Lindsey Jones, Allied Whale’s marine mammal stranding coordinator.

The white-sided dolphin, weighing over 200 pounds, was stranded on mud flats in a narrow cove during an early morning high tide. The white-sided dolphin, weighing over 200 pounds, was stranded on mud flats in a narrow cove during an early morning high tide. Credit: COA Allied Whale“It appears to have stranded there during high tide [around 1 a.m.] Sunday morning,” Jones said, adding that its estimated weight was more than 200 pounds. “It was found on some mud flats in a narrow cove which would be difficult for it to navigate out of, which is why we could not re-float the animal at that site. It had some marks on it from birds attempting to scavenge on it while beached, but these wounds are minor and will heal quickly.”

Dolphins — like whales, seals, porpoises and sea turtles — are federally protected animals, which means it can be a crime to harass, hunt or otherwise disturb them. Only federally licensed entities such as Allied Whale are allowed to approach or otherwise initiate contact with marine mammals or turtles.

Read More…