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  • Estuary Guardians

What to do if you find a stranded dolphin - Call for Help! 

Updated: Feb 14

Mandurah is a live dolphin stranding hotspot with so many shallow areas. Our dolphins are in great danger of stranding, especially over the summer months and when tides are low. Here are some tips on what to do if you find a stranded dolphin.

Always put your safety first and call for help ASAP.

As long as the dolphin can still breathe through it's blowhole at the top of it's head it can survive being stranded for a considerable amount of time. (some of ours have stranded alone and got themselves off much later). There is NO need to rush into anything or immediately attempt to push the animal back into deeper water by yourself. Help is available.

Dolphins are very heavy animals and help and advice is needed to prevent injury to yourself but also to prevent further injury to the dolphin.

Message us on facebook at Estuary Guardians  or call via 0407 090 284,

Also contact the DBCA Helpline 9 474 9055 

Please take photos and if you can do a pin drop of the location, to send.

*See if the animal is still breathing through its blowhole (opening and closing every so often). Check that the blowhole is not trapped underwater or covered up. If so it may be helpful to gently roll the animal onto their belly so that the blowhole is facing upwards and clear, only if this can be done so safely. Be careful of it's side pectoral flippers which are very delicate. Do not stand on or pull on these

*Keep clear of the tail - this is the most powerful part of it's body and can cause serious injury.

*Keep the animal’s skin moist with water - *Completely avoid the blowhole area* so it can still breathe. This is extremely important as water down the blowhole will drown the animal.

*Cover it's back area with light material if possible - but avoid the dorsal fin, pectoral fins and tail (as this is how the dolphin can regulate body temperature)

*If possible make shade for the animal to keep them out of the direct sun.

*While waiting, try not to make too much noise. As you can imagine the dolphin will already be very stressed.

*If the dolphin is sunburnt do NOT apply sunscreen. They have an amazing healing capacity, we have many dolphins that have stranded and been severely sunburnt but survived the ordeal. They now have a white scar from where the sunburn has healed.

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