4 Jun 2016

Dolphin in the port

Colleagues from Italy informed us of a dolphin that was spotted inside the Monfalcone port, so we headed there to check things out. We determined that the animal is an adult bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), a regular species in this area. Morigenos has been studying and monitoring the population in the Gulf of Trieste for the past 14 years, and we know most individuals very well. Based on photographs of the dorsal fin, we determined that this animal is not one of about 150 dolphins that we already know from this region. The dolphin looks emaciated, but we currently do not know what its health condition is. In such cases, it is very important not to try and force the animal out to open sea. Even though this is often the first instinct to many people, it is in fact the worse thing we can do for the animal. It is vital not to harass the animal or attempt to approach it at all costs. We were glad to see that local spectators behaved very responsibly. We will keep monitoring the situation, and we have provided our recommendations to our Italian colleagues and the local coast guard.

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