The global nonprofit said it received reports at 9 a.m. Thursday about several dolphins trapped in shallow water near the mouth of the Herring River in Wellfleet. A group of marine rescuers immediately responded to assess the dolphins’ location and behavior, the IFAW said in a release.
The teams found two dolphins stranded in the shallow part of the river.
"Volunteers remained on scene throughout the morning before sighting two dolphins in ‘the gut’ of the river, an area well-known for its shallow, difficult-to-navigate mud flats," Lauren Cooley, animal rescue responder and stranding biologist with IFAW, said in a release.
After attempts to lead the dolphins to deeper water failed, the team decided to use dolphin rescue vehicles to pull the dolphins from the water.
Nearing 4 p.m., the group used the "IFAW’s one-of-a-kind mobile dolphin rescue vehicle" to continue rescue efforts.
The dolphins were eventually successfully transported to a release site at Herring Cove Beach in Provincetown at sunset.
"It was a long, tiring day for these dolphins, and with the tide going out, we knew their greatest chance for survival was to transport them to deeper waters," Cooley said. "With our mobile capabilities, we were able to give the dolphins a full physical exam, treatment, and supportive care to counter the effects of being trapped in shallow water."
"The deeper waters off Provincetown will be key to their success back in the wild," Cooley said.
The IFAW said it will continue to monitor the dolphins for the next few days using temporary satellite tracking tags.