How to Handle a Dolphin Stranding

There has been an increase in marine mammal stranding on beaches across the globe. Dolphins, whales, sea lions, manatees and other marine mammals often end up in shallow waters or on beaches. If you come across animal that has stranded there are some vital steps to take in order to help save their life.


  1. 1
    First and foremost call the local stranding network (In Texas call 1-800-9-mammal) or call your local police and provide the location of the stranding. This include animals that have died. Valuable research and be provided from the deceased animals
  2. 2
    Remember not to try to return the animal to the sea. They are stranded for a reason. Animals that strand do so because they are either sick or have been injured. Trying to return to the water can further more endanger their lives. Also avoid creating a crowd. Encourage other curious onlookers to stand far away. Only one or two people are needed until the experts arrive. Do not leave the animal; they need comfort and cannot keep themselves upright.
  3. 3
    Keep the animal cool and wet by splashing water on the skin, but be sure to avoid the blowhole. You can also relieve pressure on the lungs by digging a pit under the animal and filling it with water.
  4. 4
    If the animal is in the water or surf, support it upright and be cautious to keep water out of the blowhole.If possible move the animal to shallow water without removing from the water.
  5. 5
    Always be careful around the mouth and their powerful flukes or tails.


  • Most networks depend on volunteers and donations to maintain the vital support for the animals while in rehabilitation. .Contact your local network to see how you can help!
  • Following these tips can keep the animals alive and reduce their stress until help can arrive. The local stranding network will recover the animal and take charge of feeding and nursing the animal back to health!

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Categories: Animal Welfare Activism | Wildlife