A dolphin was discovered trapped in sea ice off Cape Cod earlier this week, and rescuers were called to free the unfortunate animal before it was injured.
Sea ice forms close to land, as the Boston Globe points out, and the mixture of snow and ice had trapped the dolphin, preventing it both from swimming away or diving below the surface. A passerby stumbled upon the animal at Beach Point in Truro on Tuesday, and called the International Fund for Animal Welfare hotline. Rescuers arrived on scene around 4 p.m., and were able to free the unfortunate dolphin from its icy prison.
— 7News Boston (@7News) March 13, 2015
Brian Sharp, division head of the rescue team, noted that the dolphin was lucky to have become trapped in the manner it did.
“Luckily, its head was above the ice so it was able to breathe,” he pointed out.
After the dolphin was freed from the ice, rescuers took it ashore, where they assessed its health and well-being. Researchers collected blood samples from the dolphin, and fitted it with a temporary satellite tag so that its movements can be tracked for the next 45 days. Once the tag ceases to operate, it will then fall away from the dolphin. After the assessment was concluded, the team returned the dolphin to the surf in Provincetown, where it was set free.
— UoL Life Sciences (@UoLLifeSciences) February 19, 2015
As My Fox Boston points out, aside from a few scratches, the dolphin was in good health when the rescuers came upon the trapped animal. The dolphin was the fourth rescued by the team off the cape this year. Sharp noted that this particular dolphin happened to be the first one that rescuers had found still alive in sea ice, an outcome he attributes to the alert beachgoer.
“The whole reason this was possible was because the beachgoer called the hotline. We are very thankful for that.”
Earlier this year, lifeguards in California were able to rescue a dolphin that found itself entangled in fishing line and ocean debris. As the Inquisitr previously reported, three lifeguards were able to reach the dolphin using a boat, removing the debris from the tired and injured animal.
After being released, the dolphin was tracked to an area 13 miles north of Provincetown, which remains clear of sea ice.
[Image via the Boston Globe]