Photo: Dolphin news
Agents of the Balearic Fauna Recovery Consortium, or Cofib, together with local police and biologists on Saturday morning freed 12 young dolphins on the open sea that had run aground in shallow water near the Alcudia Mar Nautical Club, off the northern coast of the Spanish Mediterranean island of Mallorca.
According to Alcudia police and the Department of Land, Agriculture and Environment, at around 6:30 a.m. they were notfied that several small dolphins were stranded in waters some 30 centimeters (12 inches) deep.
Agents of the local security force went to the scene, cordoned off the area and asked the emergency management office to call for the aid of specialists.
Biologists from Cofib, an aquarium and a marine animal park on Mallorca determined it necessary to take the confused cetaceans, young striped dolphins, out to the open sea.
Three of the specimens were able to get free with the help of the specialists from the shallow area where they were stranded, while the other nine were taken out to deep water on special stretchers dragged by water scooters, an operation that took until 11:30 a.m. because of the care taken to avoid injuring the dolphins.
Personnel of the government agency charged with preserving fauna of the Balearic Islands took blood samples from six of the specimens to try and determine whether their running aground was the result of some illness.
The striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) is the most common cetacean in the western Mediterranean and mature specimens normally measure no longer than 2.2 meters (7 feet 3 inches).