Cancun, Q.R. — A call to rescue stranded dolphins around various Cancun beaches had local marine and veterinary experts racing against time.
Firefighters, Civil Protection officials, Semarnat, Profepa, Zofemat, marine park and veterinary experts were all called to service when 20 dolphins were found stranded along different Cancun beaches.
Director of the fire department, Thomas Hurtado, said he received an emergency call at 3:00 a.m. for assistance in rescuing three stranded dolphins. The mammals were on the beach at Gran Caribe Real at Km 11.5 of the Cancun Hotel Zone. The firemen arrived to provide security to the area, however, once on scene, they discovered six additional beached dolphins also in need of help.
Once high tide came in, the mammals were successfully returned to the sea, being pulled out by the strong currents.
At 6:30 a.m., more dolphins were spotted by hotel staff from the Gran Caribe Real Hotel, Flamingo Hotel, Hyatt Zilara and Beach Palace Hotel in the Cancun Hotel Zone.
Tourist police Hotel Zone head, Juan Carlos Garcia Miranda, said that at dawn he began getting reports of stranded dolphin sightings concentrated in the area of Km 11 to 12.5 of Boulevard Kukulkán.
María del Carmen García, director of National Protected Area of Puerto Morelos and Isla Contoy National Park, said that it took marine officials more than seven hours to return all the dolphins back to the sea. She said that while the dolphins were all returned successfully, the mammals showed signs of fatigue from trying to reach the water while others suffered skin injuries from struggling for several hours on the sand.