An unusually large number of dolphins became stranded on Massachusetts beaches on Sunday, prompting rescue groups to dash to the shores of Duxbury, Plymouth and Barnstable.
Ten common dolphins became stranded in four different locations along Duxbury and Plymouth beaches during low tide, said Tony LaCasse, spokesman for the New England Aquarium.
The aquarium worked with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) to aid the dolphins. Two dolphins died but the other eight were able to get back into the water. As of Monday morning, animal rescuers were observing one dolphin who was swimming in shallow waters.
Around the same time, other IFAW workers were rescuing two stranded common dolphins in Barnstable Harbor.
“Dolphin strandings happen on the Cape every winter, generally from late January to March,” LaCasse said. “But this year … it’s been a bigger year than normal.”
Dolphins become stranded when they come closer to shallow coastal environments in order to hunt for fish, LaCasse said. In these shallower waters, the dolphins aren’t used to tides going up and down as much as 10 feet.