In the event that you find a stranded animal please contact the following people:
For live strandings, please contact the RSPCA immediately on 0870 555 5999
To report a dead stranding, please call the strandings network on 0800 652 0333
What to do if you find an animal in distress
In the event that you find an animal in distress, beached, or / and still alive please contact the RSPCA and the Strandings Co-ordinator ( telephone numbers above ) immediately and report the incident. If for example you find an animal dead and in a state of decomposition, it is still important to report the animal to the strandings co-ordinator who will assist in the matter
Sowerbys Beaked Whale Rescue
This story starts with a telephone to our Marine Wildlife Centre from the RSPCA. A bottlenose dolphin had live stranded and help was needed to try and refloat and return the dolphin to the sea.
As we dashed to the scene and scrambled up the cliff tops – the only way to get access to the secluded beach – we learnt by phone that we were not infact rushing to the aid of a dolphin, but infact a rare beaked whale. The last recorded stranding of a Sowerbys was in Swansea in 1938! Looking down from the cliff tops we could see the whale still moving on the beach below. We quickly climbed down and before we knew it we were in the water up to our waists. Using a special stretcher, and along with a local vet and other RSPCA officers we attempted to keep the whale above the waters surface to enable it to breath.
As an hour passed we took it in turns to return to the water and hold the whale as a team. Sadly the water was too cold to venture deeper and so we had to retreat from the cold water and let the officers take the whale out further in their dry suits as it began to show signs of recovery. Held before the breaking waves the whale appeared to regain some of its strength! Moving its head up and down and beginning to kick it was released from its stretcher before what seemed like an eternity as we waited to see if it had the strength to take to the water and swim back out to the ocean. The seconds passed as it continued to lift its head and take ever deeper breaths, and then with three huge kicks – it was gone! All we saw was a dorsal fin as it swam away and then vanished.
A fantastic ending to a rescue we were proud to have been involved within. A huge thank you to all the members concerned on the day that a sowerbys beaked whale visited our shores.