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Pieman River dolphins


Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment staff will continue to monitor the Pieman River for any dolphins in distress, after successfully returning four dolphins to the ocean on Tuesday evening.

Incident controller, Chris Arthur, said that dolphins were part of a group of 34 that stranded at the mouth of the river on Monday.

Twelve of those were successfully returned to the water on Tuesday, with four making it out into the ocean. Two of the dolphins tagged during the rescue effort later restranded and died. The others remained in the Pieman River and some were spotted yesterday.

“They were seen in various group sizes east and west of Corinna swimming strongly and navigating well,” Mr Arthur said.

“We’ve given them the best chance possible and our hope is that they’ll return to the ocean under their own steam. Several have been seen near the mouth of the river.

“Today staff will do one more sweep of the river east and west of Corinna and then we’ll continue to have someone on site to monitor the situation.”

Mr Arthur said an experienced marine mammal veterinarian and a dolphin specialist conducted necropsies on all of the dolphins that died when stranded at the mouth of the river, as well as some found further up the river.

“They hope to do more necropsies today to capture as many samples as possible. Tests will be done on the samples taken and the results should be known within months.”

Mr Arthur said the veterinarian reported that from the work done so far, there are no indications to suggest the animals were poisoned.