Anglesey Mass Stranding

📸 Rose Thomas

On Wednesday 31 January BDMLR was alerted to a mass stranding of six common dolphins at Valley on the island of Anglesey in North Wales. A response team of volunteer Marine Mammal Medics were dispatched to the scene to assess the situation and provide first aid to the animals. Meanwhile, members of the public already on scene were provided with advice over the phone on what to do until Medics arrived.

On assessment there appeared to be four adults and two juveniles. Most of the dolpins appeared to be in good health and the incoming tide began refloating them as soon as the Medics arrived on scene. However, one of the adults with an old healed wound where it had lost its dorsal fin some time ago appeared to be underweight and struggled in the water once they were swimming again.

The pod was monitored by volunteers from the safety of the shore and a vet also attended the scene. Two dolphins disappeared in the early afternoon on high tide and could not be located, while the remaining four stayed close to shore. At around 4:40pm the team became anxious they would restrand on the outgoing tide and so a few Medics entered the shallows to help redirect them out to open water. The group finally turned seaward and headed out of sight into deeper water shortly afterwards.

This morning, 1 February, one of the pair of dolphins that disappeared earlier on in the incident was sadly found deceased nearby. It will be collected for a post mortem examination with our colleagues at the Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme. The team will remain on standby in case the others run into further difficulty, but in the meantime we would like to thank all BDMLR volunteers, RAF Valley personnel, Milfeddygon Bodrwnsiwn Veterinary Group, Cemaes Bay Coastguard Search and Rescue Team and members of the public for their support during this incident.

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📸 Jonathan Cumberlidge