June 05, 2010 by dyertrust

On April 29, 2010, DICT founderWilfred Chivellwas informed of a stranded dolphin. The dolphin was anIndo-Pacific Humpback dolphin(Sousa chinensis), which is a species commonly found in the waters of Gansbaai, but is in fact a rare animal in the rest of world’s oceans. Humpback dolphins are named so after their very large fleshy humps below their dorsal fins.

They are a medium size dolphin with total lengths at 2.0-2.4 meters. They are a shallow water species that are found in depths less than 15 meters commonly just behind the breakers.

The stranded dolphin was collected in the early morning byDyer Island Cruisesteam members Albert Scholtz and Zwelandile (Kira) Matiwane.

It was then examined by Mike Meyer and assistant Steven (DEAT/MCM), and Ingrid Peters (University of PretoriaMarine Mammal Research Institute).

Due to the highly decomposed state of the dolphin, the cause of death was difficult to assess. The dolphin was missing its fluke (tail fin), but it is unclear whether this occurred before or after it had stranded. As it is a rare species, the skeleton of the dolphin was collected and brought to Iziko Museum in Cape Town.

Thanks to Mike, Steven, and Ingrid for providing guidance as well as handling all the smelly work!