80-100 dolphins stranded in muddy waters off Cape Cod, officials say

As many as 20 of them may have already died

Getty Images

Between 80-100 Atlantic white-sided dolphins are stranded in low water in an area off Cape Cod on Friday, officials say.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare says it is assisting with the dolphin stranding at Great Island at the Herring River in Wellfleet, Massachusetts. They said it is a difficult location with dangerous mud.



Watch NBC10 Boston news for free, 24/7, wherever you are.


Get Boston local news, weather forecasts, lifestyle and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC Boston’s newsletters.

"Low tide was at 11:23am. The plan, given the number, is to triage and aim to support animals, refloat, and herd as many as possible," the agency said in an email. "Luckily, it is cooler today, but these animals will risk sunburn and overheating until the tide rises, and then we have the challenge of herding them into deeper water."

Wellfleet police said they received a call around 10 a.m. from a resident on Chequessett Neck Road reporting about 50 dolphins in distress in Wellfleet Harbor. The tide was going out at that time, and many of the dolphins had become stranded. They said the updated number of dolphins that were in distress is 100.

According to the Cape Cod Times, many of the dolphins were completely out of the water, while others were seen in shallow water nearby. As many as 20 of them are believed to have died already, but there is hope that others can still be saved.

"If we can get them back in the water and get them out of this area, they have a good chance," Misty Niemeyer, stranding coordinator for IFAW's Marine Mammal Rescue Team, told the newspaper. "But this is a very big stranding event, so we're going to do our best."

Officials say this is one of the largest dolphin strandings they've seen on the Cape in many years.

Contact Us