Volunteers unable to save stranded dolphin attacked by shark

STRANDED DOLPHIN: Volunteers on Sharpes Beach yesterday, clockwise from front, Australian Seabird Rescue general manager Kath Southwell, ASR volunteer Julie Thomas, Debbie Lloyd of Ballina and ASR volunteer Darni Suslov.
STRANDED DOLPHIN: Volunteers on Sharpes Beach yesterday, clockwise from front, Australian Seabird Rescue general manager Kath Southwell, ASR volunteer Julie Thomas, Debbie Lloyd of Ballina and ASR volunteer Darni Suslov. Graham Broadhead

A RELAXING walk along Sharpes Beach after work turned out to be a distressing one for Ballina's Debbie Lloyd.

She was one of the first on the scene yesterday morning after a bottlenose dolphin washed up on the beach north of Ballina.

A young woman was already with the dolphin, which is believed to have suffered wounds inflicted by a shark.

Ms Lloyd got some towels from her car, wet them, and covered the injured dolphin with them to keep it alive.

The young woman rang Australian Seabird Rescue in Ballina to report the dolphin, and ASR volunteers were in touch with National Parks and Wildlife just after 9am.

Darni Suslov was one of the ASR volunteers at the scene.

"It is very distressing," she said, as a plastic tub was used to tip water over the dolphin.

ASR general manager Kath Southwell petted the dolphin while waiting on help, but she lamented that there seemed to be little hope for the mammal.

A National Parks and Wildlife spokesman confirmed the dolphin had suffered injuries that appeared to have been inflicted by a shark.

The spokesman said, acting on veterinary advice, the dolphin was euthanised yesterday afternoon.

"The dolphin has been removed and will be buried at a special marine mammal burial site.''



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