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Lone dolphin leaves Somerset Long Bay area

Royal Gazette

By Mark Prior
Published Aug. 14, 2013 at 8:00 am

Out to sea: The lone dolphin  spotted at Somerset Long Bay
has now swum away from the area.

A dolphin feared stranded in Somerset Long Bay has left the area.

Bermuda Aquarium Museum and Zoo principal curator Ian Walker said he, along with representatives from Dolphin Quest, the Fisheries Department and the Bermuda Police Service, followed the dolphin eastward until it was out of sight.

“We followed the dolphin at a distance and we lost sight of him eastward off King’s Point,” he said.

The team was called to Somerset Long Bay yesterday after members of the public reported seeing a dolphin within three feet of shore.

People were warned to stay away from the animal if they saw it.

US expert Trevor Spradlin told The Royal Gazette that the dolphin’s unusual behaviour may have been caused by the morbillivirus which caused 201 bottlenose dolphins to wash up dead along the Mid-Atlantic coast this year.

“It was first and foremost in my mind,” Dr Walker agreed. “We didn’t want this dolphin near any of our marine mammals because certain types of diseases can spread to other collections — we were prepared to keep it away from other animals.”

A decision was made not to catch the animal because it didn’t beach itself or display deteriorated behaviour, he said.

As a result, authorities weren’t able to determine why the dolphin wasn’t travelling in a pod, or whether it was infected with disease.

Because it wasn’t necessary to catch the dolphin, “we weren’t able to determine the age, weight, sex, or species of dolphin”, Dr Walker said.

“We think it was a common dolphin, but we don’t have a firm ID on it,” he added.

“We hope this dolphin, which appeared to be juvenile, has made it past the reef by now and hopefully be able to make a living for itself.”

Dr Walker said a pool would remain at Cambridge Beaches for the next two days in case the dolphin returns and needs proper assessment.