Stranded Dolphin Was So Sunburned By The Time Rescuers Found Her

A dolphin who was found in terrible shape was recently spotted swimming freely in open waters, bringing sighs of relief to her rescuers.

"Good news," the Cetacean Research & Rescue Unit announced on Facebook recently. The young bottlenose dolphin "has been confirmed alive by our colleagues at Aberdeen University this week!"

Because of the severe sunburn she had sustained on the shore in the U.K., the dolphin's rescuers weren't sure whether she would make it if they carried her back into the ocean.

A photo shows that they put strips of fabric and seaweed over her to protect her while they decided what to do.

"It was touch or go as to whether or not she should be returned to the sea," the group wrote.

Finally, they decided a life in the wild was worth the risk, and they brought her to deeper waters so she could swim away. Now they know they made the right decision.

"The damage to her skin is severe, but she IS alive and we will be keeping a close eye on her well-being in the months to come," the group wrote.

She still has scars from that scary day, but that doesn't seem to be holding her back.

It's common for bottlenose dolphins to look for food along the shore. But sometimes their search goes awry. Every year, thousands of whales and dolphins are injured or die because they get stranded in shallow water.

Click here to learn what to do if you find a stranded dolphin or whale.

Click here to learn how you can help the Cetacean Research & Rescue Unit.

Check out a video about another dolphin rescue below: