A team of volunteers from One Ocean, a non-profit marine conservation group, stayed up all Friday night to try and save a 1.2-meter-long dolphin which was injured and trapped on the shore off the central city of Da Nang.
A 22-year-old tourist walking along My Khe beach, just three kilometers to the east of the city center, on Friday night spotted the washed up dolphin, weighing about 20 kilograms (44 pounds).
He saw that the dolphin had been pierced through the bottom fin and showed signs of being badly injured. He asked local residents to help.
A group of volunteers from One Ocean arrived at the scene and stayed by the wounded dolphin through the night.
Le Chien, an One Ocean member, said they took turns to take care of the dolphin, feed it milk and keep it in water and from being exhausted under scorching heat.
He said the dolphin is just six months old and cannot return to the sea because it is seriously injured. The group was seeking assistance from animal rescue organizations to look after the dolphin, which would take at least a month to recover from its injuries.
Saving whales and dolphins is not just a matter of animal welfare in Vietnam.
The animals are considered sacred and guardians by Vietnamese fishermen. It is a common belief among fishermen that, by saving injured whales and dolphins and giving proper burials to those that die ashore, sailors will be blessed with luck, good weather, bountiful catch and protection while at sea.