Seventeen striped dolphins, Stenella coeruleoalba, were found stranded on a West Australian beach. Three animals died before a rescue attempt was made and a further three died during the rescue. The remaining dolphins were released 24 km offshore and were not seen again. One dolphin was noted to have a broken mandible. Evidence of physical trauma to the other dolphins was minimal; one adult female was observed with some peeling skin. Blood was collected for analysis. All dolphins were slightly dehydrated and had a leukogram typical of a stressed animal. Plasma biochemistry reflected primary muscle trauma. There were no clues to the cause of the stranding; observed pathology reflected damage that occurred as a direct consequence of stranding.
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Vol. 28 • No. 4