Crying Young Dolphin Rescued after Getting Stuck on Rocks for Hours in Delaware

A team of rescuers has saved a young dolphin that had become caught on some rocks in Delaware on Sunday.

An individual spotted the three-foot-long dolphin at around 10:30 a.m. stuck on the shore at Battery Park in the city of New Castle.

The dolphin reportedly became stuck in the rocks when tide went out, John McDerby, captain of the National Resources Police from the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, said.


The individual who first spotted the dolphin said the animal was crying when they arrived. While dolphins do not cry tears like humans do, the highly intelligent animals make distressed noises in fraught situations.

Officials from the New Castle-based Good Will Fire Company, New Castle City Police and Delaware Natural Resources Police responded to the scene before staff from the Marine Education Research and Rehabilitation Institute (MERR)—a Delaware non-profit that rescues and cares for marine animals—arrived.

Rescuers closed off the surrounding area, setting up a tent around the dolphin to keep it safe. They also wrapped the animal in wet towels and poured water on them in order to keep it cool.

Eventually, officials from MERR arrived and removed the dolphin safely from the park. The animal is now being cared for at the MERR facility in Lewes, Delaware.

MERR staff are on call 24/7 to provide emergency assistance to stranded whales, dolphins, porpoises, whales and sea turtles.

“MERR’s trained team of responders provides veterinary care for ill and injured marine animals, alleviating suffering and helping them to get the care that they need to heal and recover,” the non-profit said on its website.

The organization also contributes to marine animal research by conducting necropsies—an autopsy performed on an animal—and collecting other kinds of biological data.

The young dolphin rescued in Delaware is not the only dolphin to have been spotted in a troubling situation recently.

In June, a dolphin was seen swimming off the coast of South Carolina with a large chunk missing from its back—potentially the result of a shark attack.

A dolphin was rescued from Battery Park early Sunday morning. It is now being treated at the MERR Institute in Lewes.

“We suspect this dolphin may have been the target of a shark attack,” South Carolina non-profit organization Lowcountry Marine Mammal Network said in a Facebook post. “Sharks don’t necessarily prey on dolphins except possibly young or weak animals (easy targets.)”

Despite its severe injuries, the non-profit suggested in the post that there was a possibility that the dolphin might be able to survive.

“Dolphins have an incredible ability to heal, especially in salt water. We don’t have anymore information on this animal but hope he’s on the road to recovery.”

A dolphin

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