Dolphin Stranded in North West Wales

Just after 10.30am on Tuesday 17th March, BDMLR were called by a member of public who had come across a stranded dolphin on a sandbank near Llanfairfechan in North West Wales. All we knew from the initial report was that the animal was alive and was surrounded by a small amount of water and the tide was almost at its lowest point.

A message was sent out to BDMLR medics in the area, asking for immediate assistance, knowing that the animal would have been there for several hours already, and that the tide would soon be turning. This meant that there was a possibility that access to the dolphin would either become cut off, or the dolphin would have been re-floated without a proper assessment.

Within 30 minutes, three medics arrived on scene and it was clear straight away that the animal was in very poor condition; had been out of the water for a long time, and was possibly on a second stranding due to its injuries.

The adult female common dolphin, a species out of its usual range, was in a very poor nutritional state, had injuries consistent with live stranding, and had very rapid breathing. It was very clear that the animal was not well enough to be re-floated so medics did what they could to make the animal more comfortable and to ease further suffering, covering it with wet towels and keeping it safe from further damage from scavengers.

The RSPCA were called to request assistance by a vet or officer able to humanely euthanize the animal, which was granted and within half an hour the animal was put to sleep. The body has been kept for a post mortem examination which will be done at a later date by the Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme- UK strandings.

Thank you to medics Tom, Sophie and George for their efforts in such a sad situation, and to the RSPCA for their quick response.

Photo Credit: Tom Johnstone