DENNIS, MASS. (WHDH) - Eight dolphins were released back to open waters off West Dennis Beach Sunday after a report of 16 dolphins circling close to shore, according to the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).

The animals were first spotted off Wellfleet Harbor near the mouth of Duck Creek just after the 8:12 a.m. high tide. Staff and volunteers from IFAW responded to assess the dolphins’ location and behavior.

High winds prevented a response by boat, but eight of the dolphins did strand at approximately 10:45 a.m. as the tide receded.

“The IFAW team was able to safely extract the animals and transport them via IFAW’s custom-built mobile dolphin rescue unit—a vehicle that is capable of supporting up to nine marine mammals en route to deeper waters for safe release,” Nicole Hunter, IFAW’s assistant coordinator to the marine mammal rescue team, said in a statement. “We were able to give the dolphins treatment and supportive care to counter the effects of trauma of what probably feels like a car accident to a stranded dolphin.”

The eight dolphins were released back to the ocean by 4 p.m., two of which had temporary satellite tags.

Unfortunately, according to the organization, one of the animals was later euthanized due to its declining condition.

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