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White-beaked dolphin stranding, Aberdeen
At just past ten this morning, we received a call from the SSPCA about a stranded dolphin on Aberdeen beach front. As the CRRU's Nick Duthie made his way to the scene from his Aberdeen home, the Gardenstown crew (Kev, Pine, Kaia, Elaine & Caroline) set off for Aberdeen with support equipment and medical supplies. Nick had contacted Lawrence Brain, a veterinarian from New Deer, who arrived shortly after. With SSPCA officers, a local vet and Nick on site, the livestranded animal was identified as a young female white-beaked (Lagenorhynchus albirostris), tragically, a maternally-dependant calf in extremely poor body condition. She had a particularly nasty wound behind her dorsal fin, her corneas were unresponsive and her respiratory rate was extremely elevated.
On arrival at the scene, an immediate decision was unanimously made to put the young dolphin to sleep in order to prevent any further suffering on her part -- she was clearly an inconceivable candidate for refloatation. We secured the scene, and at ten minutes past noon, Lawrence injected a lethal dosage of somulin and barbiturates. The calf died less than 30 seconds later, and her body was subsequently taken back to Gardenstown for collection by the Scottish Agricultural College for routine post mortem examination.
As always, the CRRU would like to thank all involved in this sombre affair: the members of the public who reported the stranding so quickly and helped to comfort the animal in its last few hours of life; the SSPCA officers who provided immediate backup for our medics and rescue team; the vets who were so prompt in their response to this call-out; and all of the attending CRRU team for their commendable actions and expertise on this occasion. Thank you.
Learn more about the white-beaked dolphin, visit our "fact file" section HERE.Back to news