Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Help from Human Friends

Rescuers are racing against the clock to save dolphins trapped in a shallow cove off Long Island. Approximately 75 common dolphins had been trapped last week inside of Northwest Creek Harbor in East Hampton, and most have been able to move back to deeper waters. Unfortunately, about 20 to 30 dolphins remain stranded in the shallow waters after various attempts by rescuers to herd them back into deeper water. Devices, called pingers, which emit a high-frequency sound, are being used in an effort to direct the dolphins back to safety. But the mammals often begin to panic and retreat back into the cove; thus, it is feared they could all die of hunger. It is unusual for the dolphins to be in the area, marine biologists said, explaining that warm waters and an abundance of fish-bait may have been what drew the sea mammals to the area.

On the morning of January 13th, three dolphins -- one adult, one juvenile and one calf -- were found dead on the beach. A fourth dolphin, which had been under supervision for two days, died later while in transit to the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation after it became listless. As of this morning, two more have passed away.

"They're stressed; they haven't been eating," said Charles Bowman, president of the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation, "Once the dolphin is up on the beach, they are just so far gone by then. They're beaching themselves just to save themselves from drowning."

These mammaals are magical and magnificent, and such large numbers in this area have have never been seen before. It is a rare, extraordinary occurence... turning into a tragedy. These mammals are slowly starving to death. On the weekend, recording devices measured lots of squeaks and chatter being emitted from the dolphins, but as of yesterday, absolutely no sounds are being heard.
This is another heart-breaking story... a story of humans helping animals, when ironically it could be our own activities which have triggered such a tragic event. Too many uncanny events are occuring all over the world, and I can't help but believe that we should somehow feel responsible...

A dolphin swims on its back to conserve energy. A fin in the air, like a wave -- a desperate call --for help. And the usually delightful dolphin smile upside down... looking like an expression of sorrow and misery, a heart-breaking sign of a magnificent creature slowly dying.

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