CATBALOGAN CITY — A dolphin wandering back and forth along a river in Sta. Rita town in Samar yesterday morning, was eventually rescued, and released back to the sea, by the Marine Mammal Stranding Responders of BFAR-8.

The marine mammal, which is a female “risos dolphin”, approximately 2.75 meters in length, was stranded in a river in the village of Sta. Elena, Sta. Rita, Samar yesterday.

It was initially noticed by residents at about 8:30AM yesterday, and a video of it was uploaded to Facebook by a netizen, which was later on forwarded to BFAR8.

The BFAR8 – Marine Mammal Stranding Response Team immediately proceeded to the village yesterday for the rescue operation.

Due to prolonged exposures to bystanders who reportedly played and ride on the marine mammal, and also because of navigational errors and stress, the rescue team learned that the dolphin was already weak.

But the breathing and the animal’s buoyancy were normal, according to the rescue team, thus its recovery was said to be quick.

The rescue team transferred the marine mammal to another area for an overnight monitoring, and with the assistance of village officials, the dolphin was fed this morning for hydration.

At about 10am today, the stranded dolphin was released at San Juanico Strait, and after several hours of tracking, the sea animal already swam farther to the deep part of the sea.

As this developed, the BFAR8 called on all village officials in Sta. Rita town to immediately report stranded marine animals in their areas, and further, conduct information drives, for citizens not to harm said animals, and instead help in reporting the same to proper authorities. (Rommel L. Rutor)