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A history of our dolphins in Mandurah


1 October 1990- 10 bottlenose dolphins were found in Lake Goegrup,2 unfortunately having already died. 8 were rescued,and freeze-branded 01 to 08 then released under the new bridge. All were males and measured approx. 2.2 metres in length.


3 February 1991- 2 bottlenose dolphins were trapped in Lake Goegrup, already freeze-branded 02 and 03. They were released under the new traffic bridge.


13 January 1992- 1 Bottlenose dolphin found trapped in Lake Goegrup, already freeze-branded 06,had to be put down due to horrific sun burns

Late April 1992 - Stillborn calf recovered from Dolphin Pool ( mother had carried it for several days)


5 December 1994- 4 bottlenose dolphins stranded on mudflats at Soldiers Cove , all males, and were freezebranded 12,13,14, and 15. These dolphins were released to deeper water from the old boat ramp, south of the old traffic bridge. All males.

Mid February 1995 - 1.85m female dolphin rescued from stranding on mudflats near Robert Bay in the Peel Inlet


10 December 1995- bottlenose dolphin freezebranded 12 was observed in a poor condition in Yunderup. This dolphin was captured and given a vet assessment, and a blood profile taken, then released. He was found dead on 23 December 1995 inside the Dawesville Cut, cause of death established by post mortem to be peritonitis.


8 November 1996- A dolphin stranded on the mudflats of Falcon for six or seven hours prior to being rescued. The adult 2.2metre bottlenose was struggling in water only 15cms deep. Although distressed, the dolphin was not sunburnt or hurt. The dolphin's condition was checked by a vet, before he was placed on an inflateable raft and towed to deeper water. This dolphin was not freezebranded.


13 March 1997- 6 bottlenose dolphins were trapped in Lake Goegrup, 2 adult females, 1 juvenile female, and 3 males. These dolphins were freezebranded 01 (a male rebranded from previous stranding), 17 (male), 20 (female), 21 (female calf), 22 (her mother), 23 (male). Number 23 carried an old brand, probably from the 1990 Lake Goegrup stranding which may have been 05.


29 Sept 97- A mother and her young calf were rescued from stranding in the shallows in the yunderup branch of the peel inlet. This is near Coopers mill. Canoeists found the pair about 10am in some distress. Together with a local resident they used sacks to successfully take the mother and calf out to deeper water. The mother in particular suffered bad burns to her back.


8 March 1998 - 3 adult dolphins were stranded in low water off Mandurah quays during the night. Two were able to be coaxed out to deeper water and safety. However, the third dolphin needed to be lifted by sling and caried out by rescuers as it was physically stranded, unable to move at all by itself. All dolphins reunited once they were in safer waters and swam off strongly. No sunburn was reported. The dolphin that was physically stranded had an old freezebranded number on its dorsal, the first letter being 0.


26 March 1998 - A dead dolphin was found in Mandurah's estuary waters. The dolphin had lost many of it's teeth and so was very old. It was not freezebranded and no visible signs of injury were observed. Measurements were taken, 2.57m in length, dorsal height 140mm, body width 635mm. It was presumed it had died from natural causes (old age)


30 March 1998 - Two dolphins were sighted stranded in Lake Goegrup, one physically unable to move on mudflats, the other swimming nearby in a deeper channel unable to escape due to the low tides. The stranded dolphin was freezebranded number 17, who has been stranded before. This dolphin had a series of cuts on its head, so regular it was thought they may have been injuries from a boat propeller. As well as these cuts, it also had an injury on it's tail, from the stranding. It was decided to place 17 on a sling and carry him to the deeper channel, to join the other dolphin. Though obviously exhausted and stressed from its stranding, this dolphin breached out of the water, once it was released and in safety. As the tides rose overnight, it was hoped both dolphins would then be able to navigate across, and out of Lake Goegrup safely. A search of Lake Goegrup and the Peel inlet the next day, revealed this plan had been successful, and number 17 was seen swimming strongly with a large pod of other dolphins.


19 April 1998 - A dolphin was seen pushing and carrying her dead (miscarried) calf on her snout, surrounded by a large pod of other dolphins in the Peel Inlet.


19 April 1998 22 has a new calf, (her next after 21) also another mother seen with newborn


30 May 1998 Nikky  seen with newborn


15 July 1998 - A young calf was seen trailing prawn netting underneath it, and wrapped around its body, swimming with it's mother number 22. Initial efforts to catch the calf were unsuccessful and a full CALM response was planned for the next day. However, on finding the baby again the next morning, it was clear the calf had been able to escape the netting by itself overnight. This calf is now named FALLON.


18 August 1998 - An adult dead dolphin was washed up on San Remo beach. very badly decomposed. No identifying marks or features could be distinguished.


26 August 1998 - 2 whales were sighted off silver sands beach inshore, one appearing to be in trouble. Despite the second whales attempts to be guiding the other out to deeper water, one of the whales then beached alive. However, it died within an hour and obviously had been very sick. It was found to be an adult fin whale, approx 15m, 40 tonnes approx, possibly 30 yrs old, with no visible wounds other than scrapes from being tossed onto the rough sand repeatably in the rough shore waves. It had stood no chance of survival.


4th Oct 1998 A mother dolphin is seen with significant sunburn on her back from a stranding near coopers mill (she was with her calf)


Dec 1998 The dolphin now named Bendy Wendy  seen with large sunburn wounds on either side of her dorsal. Must have been stranded


15 April 1999- A dead male calf was found washed up on the beach between Halls Head and Falcon. Only approx 4 months old, it probably died from starvation as it was very emancipated.


15 April 1999 2 newborns sighted born approx end of march


April/may 1999 another newborn seen


29th September 1999 – mother seen with tiny calf


15 October 1999 - A dead female 1.64m bottlenose dolphin was found washed up on a sandbed outside murray river entrance in the peel inlet. Cause of death unknown.


27 November 1999 - Decomposed dead adult dolphin found washed up on the beach at Falcon. Had most probably been caught in craypot ropes and drowned. Length 2.4m


10 February 2000 - Dead male bottlenose dolphin found decomposing on Madora Beach. May have been very old as it's teeth were almost completely worn down flat. Length 2.35m


2 very young calves, possibly stillborns found dead and badly decomposed south of white hills Dawesville. Lengths 1.m and 1.2m.


26 Febraury 2000 - Mother and calf pair found stranded in shallow water between the Serpentine and murray river entrances. People crabbing nearby were able to successfully assist the pair out to deeper safe waters.


1 May 2000 - Dead male bottlenose dolphin washed up on the beach 1/2km south of Avalon. Length 2.5m teeth quite flattened with age.


15 August 2000 - A female short finned pilot whale washed up dead alone at falcon beach, very decomposed. It was thought to be already dead by approximately 2 weeks. Length 4.1m. No teeth seen


2 December 2000 - A severely sunburnt dolphin was first noticed by Dolphin Encounters Mandurah. This dolphin must have been stranded and been able to eventually work itself free once the tide rose. It has later been established this was the male dolphin freeze branded with number 15 and his constant companion male freezebranded number 14 was also stranded and suffered burns. Both male dolphins are now recovered.


27th December 2000 - 3 beaked whales stranded in mandurah. One was found dead at Avalon. The other two were assisted by CALM, emergency rescue officers, the volunteer dolphin rescue group and many members of the public, out to sea. One of these whales later restranded at Secret Harbour and was then successfully rescued and taken far out to sea by boat beyond the reef. The total rescue efforts took nearly 10 1/2hrs. As neither whale was reported restranded or dead, it is considered that the two rescues were successful.

A dolphin with it's tail and body caught in craypot ropes in the ocean south of the Dawesville cut now owes its life to three mandurah residents who successfully cut it free.


24 June 2001 - A small male calf was found dead washed up on Seascape beach. Length 1.37m long. It is thought it may have run foul of heavy surf and the reef during a recent storm.


Mid to late August 2001 A young calf is reported to have been found dead washed up in the Estuary, near the Cut.


4 September 2001 - A 2m bottlenose dolphin was found dead on rocks at the Cut under the Dawesville Bridge.


Early 2002 Bendy Wendy has a new baby. This baby seemed to go missing by march 2003


17th Jan 2002 newborn seen


28th January 2002 mother seen mourning dead ( very tiny) calf


12th March 2002 2nd newborn sighted


25th March 2002 brand  new calf just born sighted dorsal fin still very floppy


By April 2002 now 5 calves


6 May 2002- A young (almost newborn) male calf still with foetal folds unfortunately got itself wedged under branches at the side of the Serpentine river in very high tide conditions due to a storm, and drowned. The calf was heard calling out in distress to the nearby pod, just prior to its death.


31st March 2003 2nd newborn sighted for the year.


Bendy Wendy's calf now missing  ………


Winter 2003 - A pilot whale died after battling heavy seas off Madora Bay


March 2004 - A mother and calf stranded in Lake Geogrup and suffered severe burns. The calf was unfortunately later found dead off the Yunderup canal entrance on Friday 26th March 2004.


27th March 2004 - A Gray's beaked whale was found stranded in a shallow inlet bay immediately adjacent to the Dawesville Cut. The whale was assisted to deeper water with the high tide. After restranding the following day still in the Harvey Estuary area, the whale was herded by boats out to the ocean through the Dawesville cut.


18 May 2004 - The dolphin freezebranded 21 was seen mourning the loss of her new calf.

                      Her mother freezebrand 22 also had a dead calf this year.


2006 - Nicky and male calf successfully rescued from stranding in shallow water near new bridge


2006 - Subadult dolphin successfully rescued from stranding in shallow water coodanup


Feb 2007 Two dead dolphins have been found in the Mandurah area in recent weeks. On February 15 the Mandurah Water Rescue Group found a dead dolphin in the water just offshore at Comet Bay. A second, bigger dead dolphin found in the shallows at Nairns. The second dolphin was old and had been deceased for some time.


2007 Nicky had a new calf in late April that died within days

Sept 2007 - Subdult male dolphin 1.7m long found deceased near San Marco Quays

************* break in records until 2009****************


26 January 2009 A dead 3.4m female greys beaked whale washed up at Pyramids Beach south of Dawesville Cut.


31st January 2009 Blacky the dolphin with scoliosis seen in the Peel inlet.


6th February 2009 Blacky resighted in Dawesville channel.


3rd February 2009 23 seen with a white growth (fungus?) on his tail flukes


12th February 2009 badly sunburnt young dolphin seen at the back of the Peel Inlet (later seen in april completely healed). Had been extremely low tides 2-3 days before. Dorsal almost flat to her back.** (now named Crook)***


2nd March 2009 Dead dolphin discovered by fisherman floating in Peel Inlet


Early March 2009 Dead decomposed adult dolphin washed up at South Yunderup.


19th March 2009 First sighting of newborn calf for 2009.


21st March 2009 Dolphin found stranded in very shallow waters of Robert Bay. Was successfully lifted to deeper waters, successful rescue well done!


21st March 2009 A mother dolphin is sighted all this week mourning her dead newborn calf, carrying its body on her snout, in Harvey estuary.


23rd March 2009 A second dead newborn calf still with foetal folds found in shallows of creery islands. (this is a different calf to the one above)


28th March 2009 Adult dolphin sighted with something large and bright white on its back at Parkridge boat ramp. No further sightings reported.


3 dolphins sighted under Lakes Rd bridge. They must have successfully travelled back to peel inlet on high tide later


Newborn calf first seen on 19th March resighted in peel inlet. At least one newborn calf alive.


3rd April 2009 Badly sunburnt dolphin seen in canals and town waters.


5th April 2009 Sealion sighted in the sticks channel heading into the Peel inlet


16th April 2009 Sea lion seen again in town waters outside peninsula aptmts


17th April 2009 female dolphin freezebranded 22 is seen carrying dead calf on her snout in town waters.


17th April 2009 both sunburnt dolphins mentioned above seen together in peel inlet both almost healed


Male dolphin freezebranded 23 now seen alone, his male alliance seems to have broken up. O1 and old 01 freezebranded males now seen with freezebranded 14 & 15 males.


14th July 2009 A male 2-3 yr old 1.7m bottlenose dolphin found stranded on the beach near Golden Bay was successfully rescued and returned to deep waters, he was last seen swimming strongly north.


2nd August 2009 – Thanks go out to the many people who reported a calf in the Dawesville cut with a huge mass of fishing line and seaweed tangled on its body and tail,  making it very difficult for the calf to swim.

We’re happy to report CALM immediately attended on Sunday 2th August and after a lengthy rescue effort was successful in removing the huge mass that was tangled round the calf  including fishing line and many hooks.

Its fin is however very mangled from the fishing line cutting across it and the top third is nearly off.

Well done to CALM for a huge effort and their success. We do ask the public to continue to keep an eye on the calf and dolphins in general in Mandurah. And PLEASE remove any rubbish you may see in/around our waters.

Fishing line, plastics, ropes etc in particular! (THIS DOLPHIN IS STILL ALIVE AND WELL years later - resighted 1ST June 2012 in the channel with many others. Has lost the top third of its fin)


 8th September 2009 -Dead Adult male dolphin found near Mandurah Quays. Was missing all its front teeth so was quite old.


8th October 2009 -Badly decomposed young male dolphin approx 6 ft found in shallows near Mandurah Quays.


9th November 2009 - A juvenile dolphin ( Christmas calf to Nicky was rescued from stranding in very shallow waters in cox bay. many thanks to everyone who assisted!


Weekend following the above stranding this rescued juvenile dolphin was reseen twice, back swimming alongside it’s mother (its mother Nicky

 is the dolphin with only half a fin ) The rescued juvenile named Christmas has some sunburn on its back and can also be recognized by a nick out of the back of its dorsal fin about halfway down.  A very successful rescue!  


2010 NEWBORNS. – As far as I know there was 4 new calves born and still alive by the end of March amongst the main estuary/inlet dolphin pods. Of course there is probably more born further afield in Harvey estuary and Dawesville ocean.

one calf was born late December 2009 one born early January 2010, one born Feb 2010. One is reported to be born 3rd march in mandjar bay!                                             


Mothers  are dolphin with nick out of fin half way down, dolphin freezebranded 21, and one with no identifying marks on her dorsal. Another with very large unusual shape dorsal may also be a mum.


We believe a 5th newborn is now in the inlet as of 17th may 2010.  On a sadder note the male dolphin with freezebrand 23 has not been seen for a long time. He would be in his older age possibly over 30yrs.


12th June 2010 - A dolphin is seen pushing  her stillborn or dead newborn calf  near the Mandurah marina. Dolphins mourn their dead and she is likely to stay with the body for several days. A smaller adult, she may be a first time mother and unfortunately there is a high mortality rate in first calves especially.


A sighting of a possible newborn has been reported approx 14th October keep your eye peeled! Also late October reports of a possible second newborn.


30th October 2010 Dead mature 2.7m dolphin found washed up dead on pyramids beach Dawesville.


3rd November 2010 – A juvenile dolphin was seen struggling to swim and breathe in the shallows of Fairbridge Bank. Unfortunately this extremely thin young male dolphin died. The body was retrieved and has been sent for necropsy ( liver)


2nd February 2011- There are now three calves in Mandurah waters. Born October, December and January approx the last one being only a few weeks old at the moment. Thanks to the cruiseboats for this info! The mums and calves are most often seen in the town waters including within mandjar bay so keep a look out for these cute youngsters and their families.


 3rd February 2011- A young dolphin (approx 5ft) was rescued off a sandbar in Lake Geogrup today by the helicopter pilot and his crew member who do the mosquito spraying. They saw the dolphin well and truly stranded in the hot sun so landed their helicopter nearly and were able

 to carry it to deeper water and saw it swim off. Well done Guys!


8th February 2011 – possibility of a 4th newborn now………….. and by march possibly 5 newborns


20th March 2011 – newborn female calf found dead on melros beach sent to Murdoch for necropsy 1.1m long


April 2011 another newborn sighted in the peel inlet now possibly up to 6 ( or more) in main estuary/peel inlet waters


One of the dolphin calves ( Beaky)  appears to have a badly asymmetrical jaw (top and bottom jaw doesn’t meet together as normally would, bottom jaw appears to be protruding up at the end with the top jaw at an abnormal angle over it)


 June 2011 Another newborn sighted now up to 7 or so newborns this year (2011)


6th July 2011 Sadly a mother was seen carrying and pushing her dead newborn calf (calf still showed foetal fold stripes) in the town estuary waters today


24th December 2011 – A female dolphin and next day a newborn calf were found dead 100m south of Novara boat ramp. Necropsy performed by Murdoch hospital


28th January 2012 first newborn sighted for the year in shallows at cox bay.


19th February 2012 – 2nd newborn sighted. Mother is Nicky the dolphin who only has half a dorsal fin. Her calf has been named giggles (thanks Bouvard Cruises for the info)


 25th February 2012 dolphin seen carrying dead fetus on her snout in the peel inlet.

 In same area were Nicky and her newborn and another mother and newborn (first seen 28th Jan.) both newborns looking good


End of February/1st week of March 2012  Third newborn seen (named magnum). 22 is the mother. She has had many calves including one stillborn.

interestingly she and Nicky often have newborns same year ( to lesser extend Bendy Wendy as well).


15th  March 2012 - A dead adult dolphin was reported by several people (thankyou) seen floating in the Harvey Estuary between Parkridge and the Dawesville Cut. It washed up off Estuary Road Thanks to those who attended.


7th April .2012 Fourth newborn sighted Easter Saturday mum Bendy Wendy has white sunburn scars both sides of dorsal


10th April 2012 dolphin with scoliosis sighted in the inlet quite possibly Blacky!


21st April 2012 New newborn calf seen in the inlet ( now at least 5 live calves this year) mum has distinctive rectangular notch out of her dorsal



3rd May 2012 – A mother and calf pair of spotted dolphins stranded along seascapes beach. Both unfortunately died. Bodies taken to perth zoo for necropsy. The mother was found to be very sick and would not have survived, she also was not producing milk for her calf.

Thanks to those that attended, especially for bringing the calf and mother to be together for their final moments. Findings were that they probably died both from starvation. It is unusual to see spotted dolphins in our waters.


30th May 2012 Mandurah cruise staff saw the large male dolphin freezebranded 01 with wounds from an attempted shark bite –  wounds from the teeth on its side and larger wound underneath its body today. Despite these wounds 01 was seen swimming fine with nicky and others in the canals. Dolphins have remarkable abilities to heal. Many thanks to Mandurah cruises for the information and Hayley for the photos. Dolphins in other areas have survived larger shark bites (eg many at shark bay bear scars). He is very large older pretty tough!


01 has been seen feeding in the inlet with other dolphins, recovering


15th June 2012 Mandurah cruises see a possible new baby in town waters ( 6 at least)


13th July 2012  01 seems healed after the attempted shark bite – looking good and swimming with his male alliance buddies


13th July 2012 – another smaller dolphin seen with teeth wounds from an attempted shark bite. This dolphin should heal just as 01 did. This dolphin has been seen several times since playing and fishing.


16th August 2012 A new baby calf seen in inlet (now 7 at least) very late to be born this year


20th August 2012 Dead male dolphin ( Captain Morgan) 2.6m found in Harvey estuary shallows near meelup point. Half its top teeth were completely worn flat and others missing indicating it was quite old.


8th October 2012. Old oceangoing male dolphin ( Jagger) found dead by professional fisherman in the Harvey Estuary, south of the cut (had shark bite wounds, suspected bitten in ocean later died in estuary). That dolphin has been seen previously swimming out to the ocean via the cut.


10th October 2012 Mandurah cruises report a dolphin seen in town waters with severe sunburn across its back (from stranding). I believe it is Nickys

2nd last calf called Christmas. 


26th October they report it is doing well still shows burns but they seem to be healing.  Later in the year this dolphin is seen again several times healing very well. (seen completely healed with very little scarring March 2013)


20th October 2012 – dead female dolphin 2.2m long found washed up in shallows approx halfway down Harvey estuary birchmont area. Many thanks to murray shire ranger who attended!


11th November 2012 small calf seen stranded up at Lake Geogrup managed to get itself off safely


13th November 2012 Blacky (with curvature of the spine)  sighted in town waters by Mandurah cruises


20th December 2012 Blacky definitely seen in the inlet! Swimming quite strongly across distance towards a pod of dolphins.


24th December 2012 Blacky (dolphin born with twisted spine (scoliosis) seen again in the peel inlet.


25th December 2012 Severely sunburnt dolphin ( Scarry) seen in the inlet must have stranded in hot sun and not been seen by anyone…dolphins do possess amazing healing abilities so should survive (seen healed 19th March!)


This dolphin was kept under monitoring as much as possible and has been seen several times swimming well and actively feeding with others (see 19th march below)


24th Dec- 31st Dec 2012 Blacky now moving very slowly and doijng poorly  (during extreme heatwave). As much as possible its movements were monitored & kept safe from main boat traffic when possible. Wildlife officers and vet attended.


Blacky not seen after last sighting on 31st unfortunately despite searching.  Reported deceased at Heron Point on the 2nd. RIP.  Measured 2.43m and confirmed as male. Body taken to Perth zoo.


Late January 2013 unusual breathing dolphin seen in ocean


28th January 2013 A new calf seen swimming with mum by Mandurah cruises in town


5th February 2013 A Newborn seen near Falcon. Mother has a distinctive shaped high dorsal with a nick out of the lower end of it ( Bowie)


6th February 2013 A wayward dolphin got itself stuck in a shallow narrow channel in Mariners Cove. During the rescue it made a quick dash to safety of higher water itself. It was seen to leap into the air twice after getting out into the main channel and then swim off strongly. Many thanks for the two men who reported it and helped with the dolphin!


7th February 2013 Mandurah cruises are reporting sightings of two newborns this year so far


11th February 2013 *Severely* sunburnt mother with less sunburnt large calf sighted near point grey ( and also Harvey estuary days before) mum is VERY badly burnt L. (see 16th April 2013 below)


18th March 2013 One 2013 calf seen with thick weed/ fishing line hanging out of the corner of its mouth left side ( cox bay)


19th March 2013 FOUR newborn calves seen with their mums all together in Harvey Estuary today! One very tiny one! and one a few months older than the other 3. All still with foetal stripes. This year the mums with calves spent a lot of their time in Harvey Estuary.


19th March 2013 One of the mums this year is the female freezebranded 21 !  She had her last calf in 2010.


19th March 2013 Dolphin Scarry very badly sunburnt late Dec 2012 seen today completed healed with a long *wide* white scar under its dorsal right side


9th April 2013 5th newborn seen in Harvey Estuary. All mums and babies are hanging out together for protection

(note- As cruise boats are seeing 2 larger calves in town waters,  its possible there are 7 or more 2013 alive calves)


10th April 2013 Dead newborn reported  in the Serpentine River near entrance to Lake Goegrup


16th April 2013 The calf that was sunburnt on 11th February seen alive and well with small amount of white scarring on back, in Harvey estuary. Mum unknown at this stage likely died unfortunately..


23 May 2013 Beaky (male calf with asymmetrical jaw) seen with tail injury - fishing line is wrapped around and cutting through the very end of its right tail fluke. It eventually did cut right through the end tip of its fluke. Swimming fine.


29May 2013 The male dolphin 01 seen carrying round what resembles a glass bead bracelet


2nd June 2013 (unconfirmed reporting by member of public not confirmed by Fisheries) Surf Life Saving WA‏@SLSWA 3-4 mt shark sighted directly out from the entrance channel Mandurah at 1120am.


4th June 2013 The end tip of beakys right tail fluke has now been completely sheared off by the fishing line. Many of our dolphins have fishing lines hanging out of the corners of their mouths including at the moment a mom and her large female calf


13th June 2013 Male 01 seen with new gash in front edge of his dorsal fin.


16th June 2013 huge coming together of the mandurah dolphins through town about 30-40 dolphins including males females and 2013 calves


16th June 2013 Small light coloured 2013 calf ( Mowgli's calf) seen with fishing line hanging down both sides left and right of mouth.


20th June 2013 7 calves seen today born this year.


20th June 2013 Many mandurah dolphins have fishing line caught on their bodies. 6 seen recently including two calves. 

                        PLEASE dispose of all fishing line properly and pick up any you see!


file note only 20th June 2013 - mum with float first seen. Small light calf line/weed. 5th July 2013 mum no longer has float. Youngest smallest whitest calf still has line trailing behind. 60 count. 5th July 2013.


21st June 2013 Pygmy sperm whale mother and her male calf both stranded (dead) on beach in two separate locations between Madora Bay and Singleton. Thanks to person who reported them


2nd July 2013 Bendy Wendy's calf is a girl we think




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