Rescuers were able to return 11 stranded bottlenose dolphins to the water on Sunday, April 11 after they had become trapped at a river mouth in Tasmania where approximately 30 sadly perished.
Of the surviving 11 marine mammals, four were seen returning to the sea, while the rest disappeared upstream.
Dr. David Pemberton, a marine biologist with the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment, said that this was the first time in more than 25 years he had witnessed such behavior, while visiting marine ecologist Chris Wilcox of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) stated that he had seen the dolphins go from being happy and frolicking a few days earlier to appearing toxically ill.
An open-cut iron ore mine operates in the area, discharging chemicals into the river, and scientists said they would look into poisoning as a possible cause of death for the marine mammals who perished.
Our thanks to all the rescuers for your quick efforts in returning the stranded dolphins to open waters as we convey our sadness for the loss of precious life.
May these and all marine animals be protected as humanity adopts more caring lifestyles and eco-friendly practices. Speaking via videoconference during the March 2009 Juice Fast for Peace in California, USA, Supreme Master Ching Hai addressed such signs of distress from our marine co-inhabitants, while offering a way to alleviate such tragedies.