ANN/THE STAR – Strong currents may have forced a dolphin calf to beach along the coastline of Pantai Air Papan in Mersing, Johor.
It is learnt that the strong current of the South China Sea could have separated the dolphin, believed to be one or two years old, from its pod and mother.
The common bottlenose dolphin calf is estimated to weigh between 30 kilogrammes (kg) and 35kg. It can reach between 150kg and 650kg in adulthood.
Such dolphins inhabit temperate and tropical oceans throughout the world and can be found in Mersing waters.
Johor Civil Defence Force (APM) personnel, with the help of Fisheries Department staff, rescued the beached dolphin yesterday.
Mersing APM beach rescue tower personnel spotted the beached mammal at 8.48am while putting up red flags along the coastline.
The dolphin was spotted some 800 metres (m) away from the watchtower.
They tried to release the dolphin back into the water but were unable to do so because of the high tide and strong winds.
They then contacted the Fisheries Department for assistance in rescuing the dolphin, which appeared to have an injury on its tail.
Department workers arrived at 9.15am and managed to release it back into the sea at Teluk Buih.
Johor Fisheries Department director Zainudin Abd Wahab confirmed that the dolphin had sustained an injury to its tail.
“The injury might have been caused by sharp corals when the animal was hit by waves due to the choppy seas. However, the injury was not serious.
“The dolphin was released after we assessed its condition,” he added.
Zainuddin advised the public to contact his department if they come across any beached marine life.
The department, he added, was involved in protecting fishery resources in Johor waters.