MMA fighter Cathal Pendred is tough and tender.
The Irishman, a contestant and recent victor on the UFC reality show "The Ultimate Fighter," tweeted his attempt to rescue a baby dolphin that washed ashore Sunday on the west coast of Ireland.
I just spent an hour in the sea at Doonbeg trying to save a baby dolphin. He was very hurt but alive and well now! 🙏 pic.twitter.com/LlteQKznHj
— Cathal Pendred (@PendredMMA) April 27, 2014
Pendred told Fox Sports that he and his girlfriend, in town for a wedding, were walking on the beach when they noticed a commotion by the water. A man who had been trying to help the wounded dolphin back into the water told Pendred he was exhausted. So Pendred took over.
When the current dragged the dolphin to a shallow rocky patch that was cutting it further, Pendred summoned his considerable might.
"I picked up the dolphin and brought him to a deeper, less rocky area," he told the network. "I eventually was able to push him out past the waves and into the deeper part of the water. I stayed around for a while to make sure he wasn't brought back in."
Pendred returned to his hotel thinking he had completed the save, but the Irish Mirror reported the dolphin had been found dead on the beach Sunday night.
Sad news: The Irish Whale & Dolphin Group have said that the young dolphin washed up in Doonbeg again last night.
I tried my best.
— Cathal Pendred (@PendredMMA) April 28, 2014
Simon Berrow of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group told the Mirror that Pendred's "refloat" try appeared to be the right thing to do in this situation, but that it's not always the case.
As a "rule of thumb" in treating a beached dolphin, the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies writes: "Leave the animal exactly where it is until help arrives. If the dolphin is injured you could cause further damage by moving it. You may have to help hold it upright, keeping it's blowhole above water. DO NOT PUSH THE ANIMAL BACK INTO THE WATER. The dolphin stranded for a reason and needs help. Please be aware that when an animal strands, it may be sick. Therefore, please use every precaution to protect yourself from any infectious disease."