December 28, 2008

10 dolphins stranded on Cape Cod beaches

Cape Cod Stranding Network coordinator Sarah Herzig says 10 dolphins have been stranded on beaches in the Massachusetts region in recent days.

Herzig said eight of the animals became stranded on beaches in the towns of Wellfleet and Brewster on Christmas Day, followed by two more dolphins on Wellfleet beaches a day later, the Cape Cod (Mass.) Times said Saturday.

Three of the stranded dolphins died on the beaches, while a fourth was euthanized by rescuers.

The remaining six dolphins were all successfully returned to the sea.

Marine biologists have suggested that dolphins, which can reach 13 feet in length and 1,100 pounds in weight, occasionally strand themselves on land for a variety of reasons.

Scientists told the Times such reasons could include parasites and illnesses, along with the animals becoming directionally confused by the region's numerous tidal creeks and sand flats.