GALLERY: Big effort to save little dolphin has sad ending
DOZENS of people have banded together at Caloundra's Bulcock Beach in a big effort to save a young dolphin trying to beach itself.
Wildlife Rescue Sunshine Coast, which helped with the rescue, said the dolphin was a Frasers Dolphin, more commonly found swimming in the kilometres-deep water of the Continental Shelf than the beaches of Caloundra.
Unfortunately the massive effort ended in sadness, with Wildlife Rescue reporting the animal had been euthanized at Seaworld.
Michael Feekings said he was down the beach about 5.30pm on Sunday when he noticed a group of people trying to help the dolphin.
"It was a young dolphin that kept trying to beach itself into the rocks and beach, but the locals kept pulling it back into the water," Mr Feekings said.
The effort to save the animal quickly grew with, at one point more than 20 people, including children and Mr Feekings himself, trying to stop the dolphin from repeatedly swimming onto the beach or onto rocks.
"We followed it down to Bulcock Beach along the water with the dolphin constantly trying to beach itself," he said.
"At 6pm there were 20+ people ringing a number different places trying to get someone involved to help.
"The locals in the pictures were keeping it in the water.
"At around 7pm they decided to put it up on the beach and cover it with wet towels."
Not long after that, volunteers from Wildlife Rescue Sunshine Coast arrived on the scene to help, talking to experts from Seaworld on how to care for the animal.
The group praised the crowd for their efforts.
"It was a mammoth effort by members of the public, some of whom stayed with him from the beginning until handover to Seaworld," the group said on its Facebook page.
"Conditions weren't pleasant with rain and chilly winds, but they were not going to leave his side no matter what nature threw at them!
"This made WRSCs job very easy as it was just a matter of us relaying instructions from Seaworld and coordinating the plan.
"Seaworld arrived at midnight and promptly administered drugs for shock & antibiotics. He was transported back to Seaworld for further tests."
The dolphin's prognosis was never great and Wildlife Rescue yesterday had the sad duty of reporting the little dolphin's death.
"The decision was made this morning to humanely euthanse the little dolphin," the group said.
"His jaw was fractured and whilst this, in itself, isn't life threatening, when compounded with all his other issues it would have been unfair on the dolphin to try and keep going.
"He was a little fighter!
"Seaworld have asked us to pass on their extreme gratitude to all who assisted him yesterday."