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10 stranded dolphins rescued off Saudi Arabia

Rescuers needed four days to take dolphins to deep waters

Image Credit: Sabq
Some of the dolphins stranded in shallow waters in King Abdullah Economic City in Rabigh on the Red Sea.

Manama: Saudis have rallied to rescue 10 Spinner dolphins that had stranded in shallow waters in King Abdullah Economic City in Rabigh on the Red Sea.

Teams from the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture, the Saudi Wildlife Authority, King Abdullah Economic City and the Border Guards worked alongside volunteers to help the dolphins reach deeper waters, the ministry’s undersecretary Ahmad Al Ayada said.

“The dolphins were swimming off the economic city when they lost their way during the rising sea levels and entered into a shallow swimming area near the beach,” Radda Al Zahrani, the head of fisheries in Jeddah, said.

“This meant that their lives were at risk because of lack of food. During the rescue operation, the teams sought to help the dolphins to return to the sea in the normal way. However, due to the climatic conditions and the behaviour of the dolphins, the teams were forced to transport them mechanically and release them into the sea.”

Rescue operation lasts four days

The ministry said that the rescue operation lasted four days and that some of the teams stayed with them overnight to monitor their condition, Saudi media reported on Monday.

According to divers, the operation that more than 20 specialist to ensure full protection while rescuing the dolphins took into account the state of the sea, the behaviour of the aquatic mammals and the availability of food needed.

“The fact that the spinner dolphins swam together in groups largely contributed to the rescue operation,” the divers said. “The rescue would have been much more challenging if they had been scattered in the shallow seawaters.”

The Spinner Dolphin (Stenella longirostris) is among some of the regular species in the Red Sea that include, according to researchers, Common Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and Risso’s Dolphin (Grampus griseus).

The Spinner Dolphin is usually two metres long and weighs about 90 kg.

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