Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Second dead dolphin found

A second Hector’s dolphin has been found dead on the West Coast today, exactly a week after the first was found south of Hokitika.

In a statement, DOC said a member of the public had contacted the Department after finding the dead dolphin at Rapahoe Beach, near Point Elizabeth north of Greymouth.

“The dolphin found today was a calf, less than a metre long.  It appeared to have died recently and there were no visible marks to indicate cause of death,” said DOC Aquatic Director, Elizabeth Heeg.

She thanked the person who found the calf for contacting DOC so promptly.

“The report was made at 9.18am. By 11.30am Greymouth DOC staff had collected the dolphin and it was being held chilled in their offices.”

“We’re really grateful that the public is heeding the message and reporting Hector’s dolphins when they are found. 

“It will be sent to Massey University for necropsy.  Every find is a valuable key to learning more about the species and the threats they face.”

Ms Heeg said that over the summer, Hector’s dolphins – including calves – had been sighted frequently very close to shore near Greymouth.

On 18 February DOC was contacted by a person who had found a dead Hector’s dolphin calf at Mikonui Beach, south of Hokitika.

Information from the necropsies of both dolphins will be uploaded to DOC’s Hector’s and Māui dolphin incident database and to the DOC website during the next scheduled update in early May. 

Anyone finding a dead Hector’s or Māui dolphin is urged to report it to DOC via 0800 DOC HOT. It is also important for the public to report live sightings via the DOC webpage, or the hotline.

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