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Beached dolphins saved on Vancouver Island

VICTORIA, British Columbia, June 29 (UPI) -- Four stranded white-sided dolphins were back in the Pacific Ocean Wednesday after scores of Canadians rescued them from a beach on Vancouver Island.

A local radio station in Campbell River on Vancouver Island and online social media sites are being credited with alerting as many as 80 people to rush to the beach Tuesday morning after a resident spotted the dolphins twitching and calling out, the Victoria Times-Colonist reported.

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Resident Bob Solc said he first spotted the dolphins swimming as he was cutting his lawn in the coolness of the morning. He said 45 minutes later after the tide had receded quickly, he saw them in distress.

He called a neighbor, who in turn alerted the local radio station to broadcast for help. Twitter and Facebook appeals were posted soon after and some 80 volunteers converged and worked at pouring water over the dolphins as others put tarps under them to drag them back to the water.

Solc said the animals were all about 10 feet away from one another and each weighed about 150 pounds.

Marine zoologist Anna Hall told the newspaper multiple strandings were unusual.

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"It suggests that whatever the four dolphins were doing, they were doing it cooperatively, such as corralling fish," she said.

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