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RSPCA Cymru warn public not to move stranded dolphins after two die in Pembrokeshire

Credit: PA

RSPCA Cymru has issued a warning not to return stranded dolphins to the sea after a number of 'well-meaning' members of the public caused the death of two dolphins in Pembrokeshire.

On Sunday 5th August, a striped dolphin was found dead on Coppet Hall beach in Saundersfoot. After finding the animal washed-up, the public had attempted to help by returning it to the sea.

In a similar incident on Tuesday 7th August, another dolphin died on Newgale Beach after beachgoers tried returning it to the water.

RSPCA has issued a warning that returning unwell dolphins to the sea only causes further harm to the animal.

An animal collection officer for the charity, Ellie West, said that 'often these animals are found on land with severe welfare problems, or have moved there to die.'

'Returning them to the sea is not helping however well-intentioned someone may be.'

In many ways, it is a source of great pride that people across West Wales love wild animals and want to help. But returning a beached cetacean to the sea can be hugely counter-productive. People are obviously well-meaning in doing this – but usually it is the wrong thing to do for the animals, and their welfare.

– Ellie West, RSPCA animal collection officer

The charity also warned of the potential health risk to the public when handling animals in this way, including spreading of disease from animal to human.

RSPCA Cymru has urged the people to contact the charity if they come across any stranded dolphins.