A STAFF member from Dingle's Oceanworld Aquarium has been praised for her rescue of a dolphin who became beached in County Kerry.
Dingle is best-known for its former celebrity resident Fungie the Dolphin, but Ireland's coasts are chock-full of the beautiful creatures, and it's important for people across Ireland to know what to do if you come across one stranded on a beach.
Oceanworld Aquarium's animal care team manager, Louise, was yesterday called out to assist with the rescue of a dolphin who had been stranded and out of the water for "quite some time, suffering from severe windburn and shock".
Louise and the other staff at Oceanworld Aquarium used the sad case as an educational opportunity, taking to social media to teach the public what they should do if they find themselves in a similar situation.
"So what is the best thing to do if you come across a situation like this?", a spokesperson for Dingle's Oceanworld wrote on Facebook.
We generally try to keep our social media platforms as positive as possible, however it is so important to make people...
"It is so important to cover the dolphin as this will prevent them from suffering wind burn injuries.
"Cover the dolphin with seaweed or a damp towel! Make sure to avoid their blow hole so that they can still breathe easily.
"Stay with them if possible to keep birds away or to ensure that crowds stay back if you are in a busy place."
They urged to public to remember "the three C's, Calm, Covered and Call"; remain calm and keep the dolphin calm, keep the dolphin covered and call the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group for help and advice.
Thankfully, the story had a happy ending, with Louise confirming she managed to return "this beautiful dolphin" to the sea, and they are "hoping for the best" that the rescue efforts were enough to allow the dolphin to live a long and happy life in the wild.
And thanks to Oceanworld's vital educational post, many more dolphins will be safely returned to the sea as the public become more knowledgeable on the right steps to take.
You can follow the Ocenworld Aquarium on Facebook here.
And if you do come across a stranded dolphin, the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group can be reached on 065 905 1762.