Women return stranded dolphin to Bay of Fundy

As Sandra Muise and her daughter Tracy hunted for periwinkles in Dipper Harbour earlier this week, they came across a dolphin stranded by the receding tide.

Tracy said she thought the creature was dead, but when Sandra splashed some water on its back, the dolphin appeared to “come to life.”

Sandra ran to a nearby house where she knew an RCMP officer lived to get help, but he wasn’t home. His sister, visiting from Ontario, returned to the beach with her.

Sandra estimates that the dolphin was about two metres long, and weighed about 80 kilograms.

Together, Sandra and the other woman figured they would attempt to manoeuvre the dolphin over slippery rocks about 15 metres to the water.

The two women then held the dolphin’s tail tightly, and dragged the animal through the seaweed and mud into the Bay of Fundy.

Tracy said it took them about 20 minutes to get the dolphin back into the water, stopping only to occasionally douse the animal with water from the bay.

Sandra said that once the dolphin reached the water, and after a little prompting, it swam off, turning back once “as if to say goodbye.”

After looking at photographs taken during the rescue, Andrew Reid, with the Marine Animal Response Society in Nova Scotia, identified the animal as an Atlantic white-sided dolphin.

While Reid said he is happy that Sandra and Tracy stepped up to save the dolphin, he said it is generally unwise for the public to attempt a rescue on their own.

“People can get hurt, and it’s safer for the animals.”

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