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Sunday 28 May 2023 Dublin: 14°C
# washed up
Two dolphins die after becoming stranded off the coast of Mayo
Rescuers were able to save three of the animals and return them to the sea.

dolphins - 1 Aoife Foley / Irish Whale and Dolphin Group Aoife Foley / Irish Whale and Dolphin Group / Irish Whale and Dolphin Group

RESCUERS IN MAYO have described an incident that saw three dolphins saved after becoming stranded on the coast of Mayo.

At the end of last month, the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) was called by a local resident and marine biologist Machiel Oudejans who could see the dolphins from his house on the Mullet Peninsula.

Arriving at the scene, the team set about helping the animals which had become stranded in ankle deep water.

“It is a lot more common than people think for something like this to happen. There are a lot of strandings, especially off the east coast,” Aoife Foley, an IWDG member who attended the scene told 

Along with the help of a local man, the team were able to move the animals back out to deeper waters.

Out of the five dolphins, one appeared to be in worse health than the others.

When the beach was checked a short time later none of the five had made their way back onto the shore.

dolphins - 2 Aoife Foley / Irish Whale and Dolphin Group Aoife Foley / Irish Whale and Dolphin Group / Irish Whale and Dolphin Group

The next morning, members of the National Parks and Wildlife Service returned to the beach to find two of the dolphins had made their way back onto the beach.

Efforts were made to keep the animals cool and help them back into the water, but nothing could be done to prompt them to swim out to deep water.

“There is only so many times you can try and help them,” says Foley.

Once you’re at that stage there is very little you can do other than get a vet. You are only trained to do so much. You can cause the animal more distress.

Ireland is a whale and dolphin hotspot, and later this month the IWDG will be holding an event to encourage people to get out and see some of the animals for themselves.

The group will be holding its Whale Watch Ireland event on 27 August and more details about it can be found on its website. 

Read: Dolphin dies after being passed around for selfies

Also: How many whales and dolphins can you count in one day? It’s All Ireland census time

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