Dolphin with sunburn spotted doing well a month after rescue

The stranded dolphin has been spotted a month after it was rescued. Credit: University of Aberdeen

A dolphin, known as Spirtle, that was sunburnt after getting stranded on mudflats at the Cromarty Firth in Scotland, has been spotted by researchers a month after it was rescued.

Scientists at the University of Aberdeen said the animal, which has been tracked since it was helped back out to deeper waters, appeared to be doing well and healing from its injury.

Spirtle was originally seen in distress on the Nigg Peninsula by Lorraine Culloch and her partner on May 29 after they got lost while looking for a dolphin-watching spot.

The dolphin was seen stranded on mudflats at the Cromarty Firth on May 29. Credit: Lorraine Culloch

In a post on Facebook Ms Culloch said it took 10 hours for the British Divers Marine Life Rescue team along with the Scottish SPCA to save the animal.

Ms Culloch took pictures of the rescue which finally finished at 4am when the four-year-old female mammal was able to swim off.

Rescuers tried to protect the dolphin from the sun when it was stranded. Credit: Lorraine Culloch
The dolphin was helped by the British Divers Marine Life Rescue team and the SSPCA. Credit: Lorraine Culloch
It took 10 hours to rescue Spirtle and release her into deeper water. Credit: Lorraine Culloch

Barbara Cheney, a researcher at Aberdeen University, told the BBC the dolphin had only survived the sunburn because of the make-up of its skin.

The animal is part of a group of 200 known as the East Coast Scotland population which are being studied by the university.

It is hoped that Spirtle will go on to live and breed normally and have a long life.