Posted by: The ocean update | July 11, 2016

Dolphin rescue may be needed if food, salinity levels drop (Australia)

A dolphin has been spotted in Prospect Lake, East Ballina, despite a device having been installed to try and stop the dolphins getting into the lake.Alison Reid ORRCA

A dolphin has been spotted in Prospect Lake, East Ballina, despite a device having been installed to try and stop the dolphins getting into the lake.Alison Reid ORRCA

July 11th, 2016 (Cathryn Mclauchlan). TUESDAY 10am : THE young dolphin that found itself “in the wrong place at the wrong time” on Saturday afternoon is still trapped in Prospect Lake, Ballina.

President of whale rescue organisation ORRCA, Ronny Ling, is not concerned about its welfare, but if conditions change a capture attempt may become necessary.

“It’s still not stressed … we’re still happy with the food stocks in the area and the salinity is fine in the lake at the moment,” he said.

“If one of those starts to change there will need to be further intervention.”

Mr Ling said once the dolphin re-enters the ocean it should be able to easily reunite with its pod.

“It’s probably an animal from a pod in the area,” he said. “(It has) probably been up that way before, in those creeks, so we’re not too worried,” he said.

UPDATE 12pm: THE dolphin trapped in Prospect Lake may remain there for days to come, as marine rescue organisation ORRCA waits to see if it will leave on its own.

ORRCA president Ronny Ling said they didn’t want to stress out the juvenile dolphin with a rescue attempt.

“We will monitor the animal for the next couple of days to see if it will find its own way out. That’s the least stressful way,” he said.

“If we were to capture it, that will heighten the stress on the animal and they can injure themselves.

“Its general body condition looks rather good at the moment … it doesn’t look thin or overstressed in the situation.”
Mr Ling is encouraging onlookers to stay away from the dolphin’s exit point, as to not scare it back into the lake.

“Please don’t stand where the chains (of the dolphin-proof barrier) have been removed,” he said.

“We’re also encouraging people not to try and get in the water with the animal.”

Mr Ling said if anyone notices the dolphin leaving the lake, or if anyone spots more dolphins around the area, to give ORRCA a call on 9415 3333.

At this stage it’s unknown how the dolphin got through the barrier and into Prospect Lake.

MONDAY 10.45am : A JUVENILE dolphin is trapped in Prospect Lake in Ballina but it “doesn’t seem to be stressed”, nearby resident Bruce Bevan said.

Mr Bevan noticed it on Sunday but others reported seeing the dolphin on Saturday afternoon.

“It probably came in on the high tide on Saturday,” he said.

“It’s just found itself in the wrong place.”

Eight years ago three dolphins became trapped in the same lake, and it took days to rescue them.

“The barrier at North Creek, that seems to have been effective up to this stage,” Mr Bevan said.

“I think there’s plenty of food here … it doesn’t seem to be stressed.”

ORRCA is on scene monitoring the dolphin.

The unusual event has attracted kids on their school holidays and groups of people to come and watch.

The dolphin is currently at the south western corner of the lake.

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