The International Fund for Animal Welfare recently announced its plan to open a rehabilitation facility for dolphins and porpoises on Cape Cod. A first of its kind, this facility is a critical addition to the Cape to ensure more marine mammals are rescued and taken care of properly.

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What Is the International Fund for Animal Welfare?

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) is a wildlife rescue and conservation organization that has become internationally recognized for its dolphin rescue and research expertise for 25 years.

“IFAW’s research and innovation has led to groundbreaking response techniques and increased survival rates for marine mammals, both locally and in similar mass stranding hotspots around the world,” said the organization.

With this new facility, IFAW plans to tackle a huge problem that Cape Cod faces as one of the world’s largest stranding hotspots for dolphins and porpoises.

What Will IFAW’s New Facility Do?

According to Brian Sharp, the director of IFAW’s Marine Mammal Rescue & Research team, Cape Cod sees more instances of live mass stranding of dolphins than anywhere else in the world.

Without a proper facility, IFAW staff are forced to treat stranded animals on-site and release them back to the ocean. With this new facility, IFAW will be able to provide additional diagnostics, treatments, and recovery time to ensure a better survival rate for these animals.

What to Expect from the New Facility

A former retail space on the Cape will be transformed into a room with two large pools big enough to hold close to 4,500 gallons of water, an office space, and a veterinary laboratory.

“Stranded animals will be accommodated for no more than four days in the facility, and IFAW initially expects to accommodate about 12 patients a year,” said the organization.

Can the Public Visit the Animals?

Unfortunately, the new facility will not be open to the public, but there will be a public outreach center in the front room of the facility with educational materials and there will be a live stream of the team at work in the facility.

Cape Cod’s very first Dolphin Rescue Center is slated to open at the end of this month.

The IFAW staff has responded to more than 400 live-stranded dolphins, whales, and porpoises in the last five years, and with this new facility, they’ll be able to make an even bigger impact.

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