Another two Hector's dolphins have been found dead in the
Blueskin Bay area this week.
The first, an adult female, was found on Sunday by the
Department of Conservation at Blueskin Bay estuary after Doc
was alerted by the public.
A newborn calf was discovered on Monday in the same area.
The second, another adult female, was found on Tuesday
afternoon at Blueskin Bay.
Doc biodiversity programme manager David Agnew said until
necropsies (animal autopsy) had been done by Massey
University's wildlife centre, there was no way of knowing if
the deaths were something to be concerned about.
''At this stage it could be coincidence. Three in a week,
though, is far too many.''
One of the females was probably the mother of the dead calf
and possibly died during the birth process, he said.
It was hoped the necropsies would identify cause of death and
DNA testing could show which was the calf's mother.
The quick thinking of the public in reporting the dolphins to
Doc meant the department had the best chance to discover the
cause of death, as the bodies were not decomposed.
Hector's dolphins were found off the coast of Otago mostly
from Taiaroa Head to Karitane and periodically washed ashore.