Dolphin Diary – January 2015
Hi Everyone and Happy New Year! I hope that 2015 is a great year for everyone.
It was an interesting end to 2014 with some other marine mammals stealing some of the attention from the Port River Dolphins.
On the 3rd December a juvenile Australian sea lion turned up in the inner Port. The young pup was very inquisitive and friendly. Volunteer Sharon Sharp saw the young pup pulling himself ashore near the Birkenhead Pub and contacted the Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary Rangers. Sharon and the Rangers were able to remind people not to go too close to him and were able to stop the little guy from venturing on to the railway tracks and on to Bower road. The young pup made his way back out of the river and was seen a few days later at North Haven. It is not unusual for this size animal to leave its mother around this time of year, hopefully this little guy is now in a safer area and has met back up with some other sea lions.
Sadly on the 8th December seven adult Female sperm whales became stranded and passed away on the Yorke Peninsula near Ardrossan.
Luckily Staff from the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure and the Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary were able to save an 8th Sperm whale that was in shallow water and were able to help guide it out to deeper water.
Sperm Whales are the largest toothed whale. They live in deep water and are rarely seen near the coast. It is not known why the Sperm whales entered into the gulf and why they stranded. It is thought that one may have been sick and that the others may have followed it in. Another possibility is that seismic testing or other human activities could be linked to the stranding. Two days after the Sperm Whales stranded there was a report that six Bottlenose Dolphins stranded on Kangaroo Island. Fortunately the dolphins were guided back out to sea by people on the beach.
The Port river dolphins.
At the beginning of December, Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary Action Group volunteers Donna-Lousie Martin, Sharon Sharp, Nikki Zanardo and I attended North Haven School. The Dolphin Ranger Students raised money that will go towards Dolphin and Whale Rescue equipment. The Volunteers were able to explain how important the rescue equipment is and show the student how a rescue sling is used.
On Sunday 21st December a dolphin was found floating in the water. Fortunately the ADS Rangers were able to collect the body, enabling us to identify that it was Graze, an older female dolphin.
Graze was one of the original dolphins that could be Adopted back in 1995. When Dr Mike Bossley first saw Graze back in 1992, he noticed an enormous wound covering almost the whole top of her body and saw that Graze was accompanied by a tiny infant dolphin. There was concern for both Graze and her calf. Dolphins have an incredible ability to heal and not only was Graze able to survive her wound but she was able to successfully raise her calf.
We will miss Graze.
All the other dolphins appear well and we are expecting a few of our resident females to have calves in the next month or two. While this is a very exciting time it is also a dangerous time for the new calves and it is vital that people obey the speed limits, keep a look out and keep their distance so that the new arrivals have the best possible chance to survive.
The dolphins we have seen over the last month include Bianca, Doc, Tiffany, Summer, Harmony, MJ, Proppy, Danya, Morgan, Ryan, New Moon, Lunar, Bubbles, Star, Ripple, Crystal, Hope, Tallula, Bronny, Marianna, Zoom, Unhap, Ollie, Ali, Mouse, Barkette, Boss, Bird and Oriana.
Look out for next months Dolphin Diary on Friday 6th February. Best Wishes Marianna