25 January 2005

Beached dolphin dies in tidal pool

A male dolphin, aged about one, died in the Brass Bell tidal pool in Kalk Bay on Sunday after it had beached twice in four days at Glencairn.

Pat Stacey, chief fisheries control officer at Kalk Bay harbour, said he moved the animal to the pool from the beach on Sunday after being alerted to its location by Nan Rice of the Dolphin Action Protection Group.

It is unclear how the dolphin was separated from its school.

The cause of death is also not known.

Shortly before the animal died it leapt out of the pool at Brass Bell onto rocks.

Stacey said on Sunday he had planned taking the animal in a fishing boat to release it into the ocean.

Dolphin expert Peter Best of Pretoria University's Mammal Research Institute, based in Cape Town, said he had received the first call about the stranded dolphin only on Sunday.

"Even if the animal had lived it would have struggled to survive alone in the open sea," he said.

Best said the animal would be used to gain genetic information about the species.


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