Last week, 50 feet of hip-deep mud wasn't enough to keep animal rescue
workers from saving 16 Atlantic white-sided dolphins that were stranded in the marshlands off the coast of Cape Cod.
After local residents of Wellfleet, Massachusetts, reported seeing the beached dolphins last Thursday, teams from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) slipped into their rubber boots and dry suits and plodded their way to the imperiled animals, the Boston Globe reports.
The animal rescue workers labored until 2 a.m. Friday morning, saving six of the stranded dolphins. By the time they finished their work on Friday evening, a total of nine dolphins had been rescued.
"It's always difficult to find so many stranded animals," said A.J. Cady, IFAW's deputy director of programs.
He added, "And although treacherous conditions made it impossible to rescue all the animals, we were able to give a second chance to these wonderful creatures."
Because of the frequency of dolphin strandings on Cape Cod, the federal government has authorized IFAW to rescue beached animals in the region and on the southern coast of Massachusetts.
According to the group's director, Katie Moore, IFAW rescued more than 200 dolphins last year, and has responded to about 100 strandings so far in 2010.