Bottlenose dolphin seen in Oosterschelde: ‘It won’t make it there’

A bottlenose dolphin has been spotted in the Oosterschelde. The animal was first sighted from a passenger ship yesterday, and has been seen several times today. Yesterday it swam near Schelphoek and today the dolphin was seen near the village of Kerkwerve, a little further east.

“We saw right away: this is not correct,” says Annemarie van den Berg of SOS Dolfijn. “We immediately saw that it is not a harbor porpoise, which does occur in the Oosterschelde, but that it is a bottlenose dolphin. It does not belong there.” Such a dolphin was last seen in the Oosterschelde in 2013.

“It is also not a good habitat for such an animal. They live in the open sea, not in a closed area like the Oosterschelde, where there is not enough or not the right food,” says Van den Berg. “We know from experience that things don’t always end well. The animals that were seen in 2007 and 2013 were eventually found dead.”

Back to open sea

It is hardly possible to remove the bottlenose dolphin from the Oosterschelde. The animal is large and heavy. The call from SOS Dolphin is not to push the animal back into the Oosterschelde if it washes ashore somewhere. “He won’t make it there,” says Van den Berg. There are now two options for getting the dolphin back to the North Sea. The animal can return independently via the Oosterscheldekering, or it washes ashore alive and can then be taken to sea.

“It will survive in the North Sea,” says Van den Berg. “But all the time he is here is not good for him. It is a species that can do without the right food for a while and luckily the Oosterschelde is salty. Fresh water causes skin problems.”

SOS Dolfijn wants to send a team tomorrow to check the health of the bottlenose dolphin. “Then we’ll count his breath, see if there are any injuries and see if we can identify him. Maybe he’s known somewhere.”

Bottlenose dolphin seen in Oosterschelde: ‘It won’t make it there’
Source link Bottlenose dolphin seen in Oosterschelde: ‘It won’t make it there’

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