This page has been prepared for the "UK Wildlife: First Aid and Care" Wildpro module, and is designed for the needs of the following species: Balaenoptera acutorostrata - Minke Whale, Delphinus delphis - Common dolphin, Globicephala melas - Long-finned pilot whale, Grampus griseus - Risso's dolphin, Lagenorhynchus acutus - Atlantic white-sided dolphin, Lagenorhynchus albirostris - White-beaked dolphin, Orcinus orca - Killer whale, Phocoena phocoena - Common porpoise, Physeter macrocephalus - Sperm whale, Stenella coeruleoalba - Striped dolphin, Tursiops truncatus - Bottle-nosed dolphin.
- "It is strongly recommended that specialist equipment is used if attempting transportation of a cetacean." (D23)
- "Suspended stretchers, air and water mattresses have all been used successfully to date." (D23)
- During transportation care should be taken to avoid excessive pressure on fins.
- It should be possible to keep the skin moist and control the cetacean's body temperature.
- It is important to ensure that the material on which the cetacean lies does not damage its sensitive skin and that it provides sufficient cushioning to prevent physical damage to the animal during transportation.
- Stretchers are available which have been specifically designed for cetaceans. These have holes for the pectoral flippers, which need to be well padded.
Short term (Immediate/Emergency) Accommodation:
- Inflatable pool may be erected at the site of a small stranded cetacean.
- Requires a flat surface for its erection.
- Require frequent pumping of sea water to keep the water in the pool replenished.
- Allows initial refloating of a small cetacean e.g. if sea conditions are unsuitable for refloatation.
Medium-term (Hospitalisation) Accommodation:
- Minimum requirements:
- No more than two hours transport time from the stranding site.
- Pool of at least 9 metres diameter, with padded sides.
- Support systems available for animals in the water.
- A salt water supply and full saltwater treatment equipment.
- Controlled environment.
- Isolation of the pool and its surroundings from the public.
- Appropriate handling facilities.
- Facilities for 24-hour observation of the casualty cetacean.
- Experienced qualified personnel to staff the facility.
- No suitable facilities are available in the UK at this time. (D42)
Long-term (Rehabilitation and Permanent) Accommodation:
- Not available in the UK at the present time. (D14).