Stranded Risso’s Dolphin Released Off Provincetown

Courtesy of IFAW. The scarring on Risso’s dolphins are natural, accumulated through age by social interaction with their pod and through hunting.

PROVINCETOWN – A stranded young Risso’s dolphin was rescued and released by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) Tuesday night. 

The marine animal is often mistaken for a whale because of its large size, with this dolphin weighing in at 550 pounds and over 9 feet long.

The sub-adult female dolphin was stranded off Point of Rocks Beach in Brewster and transported to deeper waters off of Provincetown for release to provide it with the best chance of survival. 

Though the animal appeared dehydrated, had minor wounds and seemed slightly distressed, officials said that it was otherwise a good release candidate. 

IFAW’s response team required 25 staff, interns, volunteers and AmeriCorps Cape Cod members due to the large size of the animal.

“This is the first Risso’s dolphin the team has rescued and released since March of 2017.” said IFAW Animal Rescue Officer Misty Niemeyer.

“Risso’s typically prefer deep, open ocean. In the northwest Atlantic they are typically found along the continental shelf from Florida to Newfoundland.” 

The dolphin was released Tuesday night off Herring Cove Beach in Provincetown with a temporary satellite tag affixed to its dorsal fin. 

The latest tag report indicated it is now offshore in the Atlantic. 

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native from Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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