Dolphins dead after stranding on shore in Boyd's Cove during hurricane

Several dolphins are dead after being stranded on the shore in Boyd's Cove.

Animals possibly feeding on mackerel in area when they became disoriented by the storm

Seven dolphins, including this one, died onshore in Boyd's Cove after possibly becoming disoriented by storm conditions during Hurricane Matthew. (Submitted/Fisheries and Oceans Canada)

Several dolphins are dead after being stranded on the shore in Boyd's Cove near Lewisporte.

A spokesperson from the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) said the white-sided dolphins may have been feeding on mackerel in the area and became disoriented by storm conditions.

Eight washed ashore. Local residents pushed some of the dolphins back into the water, but the mammals became stranded once again. By the time DFO arrived, seven were dead and one had survived. That surviving dolphin later died as well.

Wayne Ledwell of animal rescue group Whale Release and Strandings said it's difficult to know what caused the dolphins to strand.

"It's possible that somehow or other the tide could have dropped on them, but generally with animals like that when they get in those situations — where they make a mistake and they're healthy animals — when they are pushed back out again or taken back out, they'll go on," he said.

Ledwell said there appeared to have been a couple of large males in the group, and the others might have followed towards the shore.

"It was a mixed group of dolphins, there were cows and calves with them also. It's hard to tell, really, why they did that," he said.

With files from On The Go