3 rough-toothed dolphins stranded on New Taipei City beach released after 3 days rehabilitation

Three dolphins found stranded on a beach in New Taipei City’s Bali District, Wednesday, were released in waters off the coast of Keelung City, after spending two days in a cetacean rehabilitation center.

The one male and two female rough-toothed dolphins (Steno bredanensis) were reported stranded on Waizaiwei Beach on the morning of February 9. Personnel from the New Taipei City Government Animal Protection Department, Coast Guard, and Taiwan Cetacean Society responded to the report. Due to bad weather and rough sea conditions at the time, it was decided to send the dolphins to the Badouzi Rescue Station at Keelung, for assessment and rehabilitation before re-release.

Two of three stranded rough-toothed dolphins stranded on beach in Bali District, New Taipei City
Rough-toothed dolphins stranded on beach in Bali District, New Taipei City, February 9. Picture: New Taipei City Animal Protection Department.

Initially thought to be three adult males of 200-210 centimeters in length, an examination at the rescue station found that the dolphins consisted of one adult male and two adult females. One of the females was found to be pregnant.

rought-toothed dolphins in a rehabilitation pool at the Badouzi Rescue Station
The rehabilitation pool was still being filled when this picture was taken. Picture: Marine Animal Rescue Network (Ocean Affairs Council).

After three days of resting and testing, with volunteers working around the clock, the dolphins were transported on a Coast Guard patrol vessel to waters of a depth of around 150 meters off the coast of Keelung, and released successfully at around 5:00 pm today, February 11.

dolphins being re-released into the wild off the coast of northern Taiwan
Dolphins being re-released into the wild off the coast of northern Taiwan, February 11, 2022. Picture: New Taipei City Animal Protection Department.
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