The body of a dolphin washed ashore at Palm Beach on Tuesday morning, just four days after a pod of dolphins were stranded at Whakanewha. A group of four community members watched over the dolphin’s body, keeping dogs and members of the public out for their morning walk clear of the creature until Department of Conservation officials could arrive.
Te Aata Rangimarie was the second person on the scene, after a Protect Pūtiki member said, in a group chat, a dolphin had washed up on the beach at 6.30am.
“As soon as I got that message, I shot up straight out of bed to come help. I still had buckets ready to go from the Whakanewha stranding.” Sadly, when she got to Palm Beach it was clear the dolphin had been dead for some time before it washed ashore, Te Aata said. “It was an eerie feeling coming down to the beach, and seeing that. I was expecting another 10 stranded dolphins, like on Friday…” She thought this dolphin might have been part of the same pod, she remembered one of the Whakanewha dolphins around the same size as this one was really struggling when it was refloated. “You could see it straining to breathe, and it was going a bit wonky in the water – but it swam away.” She hoped it wasn’t the same dolphin. • Paul Mitchell
Full story in this week’s Gulf News… Out Now!!!