News & Media releases

Update on dolphin entanglement

Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) wildlife officers have today made a fourth attempt to disentangle a young river dolphin calf which has fishing line or net cutting through its dorsal fin.

Sadly, the rescue attempt was again unsuccessful after the three-year-old calf’s highly protective mother, Tupac, continued to put herself between the rescue boat and her calf.

Sightings of the injured dolphin, Gizmo, were first reported on 27 April. Since then, there have been numerous sightings as the mother and calf pair travelled around the river.

The Swan River Trust is again asking the public not to approach Gizmo and to immediately report all sightings to assist authorities as they continue to work on strategies to help the pair.

Sightings can be reported to:

  •     the DEC WILDCARE helpline on 9474 9055; or
  •     the Swan River Trust on 9278 0900
  •     You can also call or email Trust officer Rachel Hutton on 9278 0914
  •     On weekends, please call the Trust duty officer on 0419 192 845

We recognise it is distressing to see a dolphin in this state and people wish to help - but it is crucial they do not try to intervene as it will add to the pair’s distress.

By reporting any sightings, you are helping officers to track their movements, which will help DEC officers identify the next suitable location to attempt a disentanglement.

This assistance is greatly appreciated by the Trust and the DEC.

We are continuing to closely monitor the mother and calf and work on strategies to assist them, but it is clear the calf has a severe wound on its fin and is also dragging seaweed and rubbish which has become caught in the entanglement, adding to its distress.

Please pick up any rubbish, and particularly discarded fishing line, that you see in the riverpark as it can be devastating for wildlife.