What To Do If You Find A Live Stranded Whale Or DolphinHelping Stranded Animals
WARNING! Marine animals are wild animals. They can carry diseases which are transferable to humans, and they can cause injury by thrashing their tails or otherwise. Do not put yourself at risk of injury:
Approach animals with care - if in doubt just wait for help.
Do not attempt to move heavy animals without adequate assistance.
Always wash your hands thoroughly after contact.
Children are particularly at risk from marine mammals and should stay well clear of them.A. How to help a live stranded whale or dolphin
1. Send for help. The most important thing is to seek out an expert to help the animal. Many countries have "strandings networks" of experts who are specially trained in how to deal with stranding emergencies and have veterinary specialists associated with them. Their involvement will help to ensure that the stranded animals are treated kindly and appropriately.
2. While help is on the way calmly approach the animal but be careful; whales and dolphins can make sudden movements.
3. If you can find assistance, gently roll the animal onto its front (its belly) and keep its skin wet with sea water. Do not pull on its fins or tail and be very careful not to get water down its blowhole.
Dolphins and whales breath air through the blow hole which must not be blocked.
4. Do not drag the animal back to the water. This may cause it a serious injury.
5. Keep people and dogs away - to reduce the stress to which the animal is exposed.
6. Wait for expert help and be very careful as these are large, powerful animals.B. How to help a live stranded seal or sealion
Similar considerations apply to these animals. However, seals regularly come out of the sea to rest on the shore and pups are often left alone by their mothers. So, a pup seen on its own can be a perfectly natural occurrence. Adults and pups hauled-out on shore can safely be watched from a distance, but if you approach too closely, the mother may be scared off and abandon the pup.
If you think a seal is sick, injured or abandoned:
Telephone for help.
Keep people and their dogs away.
Do not get close to injured seals or pups, as they can give very nasty bites.
Wait for expert help.
*[Please note that if you do choose to assist a stranded animal you do so at your own risk - WDCS cannot be held liable for any damage or injury suffered to persons or property resulting from the assistance of stranded animals.]