The Port River Dolphins have become quite famous for their skill of tail walking and it all started with one amazing dolphin named Billie.
Billie had become trapped in the Patawolonga near Glenelg and was placed in captivity in Marine Land for a short period of time. Luckily she was released back in to the wild where she made her way back to the Port River. It was in the Port River that Billie was first seen tail walking. It is believed she learnt this behaviour from watching other dolphins in Marine Land.
For a long time Billie was the only dolphin in the Port River that tail walked. We were therefore incredibly surprised in 2006 when we saw Billie’s friend, Wave tail walking. We then began to see more of the Port River Dolphins tail walking including Bianca, Juliette, Angel, Ripple, Talulla and Oriana.
We saw Bubbles, Marianna, Doc and some of the other younger dolphins attempting tail walks but it was very sporadic and they did not continue this behaviour. We are still trying to work out if there is a reason behind this behaviour.
One of our very energetic dolphins, Wave used to be seen tail walking very regularly. She was an incredibly active dolphin and we often saw her do several tail walks in a row. One evening in the space of a few hours I saw her do more than 60 tail walks.
We regularly see June in the Patawalonga displaying very similar behaviour to tail walking, particularly when he appears to want to enter or exit the Pat.