On the afternoon of Thursday 31 January BDMLR received a call from a member of public who had found a live harbour porpoise struggling on the beach at Bridlington South Beach, Yorkshire. With the light fading and not knowing what to do, the porpoise had been returned to the water, but beached itself again soon after.
Within 10 minutes three BDMLR trained Marine Mammal Medics were on scene to assess the animal with the members of the public, who had stayed with it to wait for help. The animal was confirmed to be an adult male harbour porpoise, a species common to the area, with slight trauma consistent with live stranding. With no serious injuries and the animal in fair body condition, the initial decision was to refloat the animal as soon as possible once veterinary advice could confirm that. HM Coastguard were able to quickly assist, however the porpoise sadly died suddenly before further action could be taken.
The body has been taken away to storage to be collected for a post mortem examination, which will be carried out by our colleagues at the Cetacean Stranding Investigation Programme at a later date.
BDMLR would like to take the opportunity to make people aware that anyone finding a live stranded porpoise, dolphin or whale (collectively known as cetaceans) in the UK should call our hotline immediately for assistance. You can read more advice on how to help seals and cetaceans when you find them on our website.
Photos courtesy Matt Barnes (BDMLR)