Dolphin calf coaxed to sea

HOPEFULLY by now, Scotty is frolicking out at sea like any young dolphin should.

Scotty was given the nickname by the rescuers that saved him from certain death at Scotts Head Beach yesterday.

Coffs Harbour’s Celia Chapman, from the Organisation for Rescue and Research of Cetaceans (ORRCA), was among the dedicated band that spent most of the morning ensuring his safety.

Celia was called at 8am with news a local surfer had found the calf, which was only a month or two old, washed up at The Point.

Celia grabbed her surfboard and wetsuit and hit the road.

“When I got there a couple of guys from the NPWS were already in the shallows with the dolphin and were keeping it away from the rocks,” she said.

“It kept trying to beach itself on the rocks and kept getting hurt.”

Earlier, the NPWS officers had carefully placed the mammal on a sling but once Scotty’s condition stabilised, he was then able to swim about for a bit.

However, the rescuers were increasingly worried about the hazard posed by the nearby rocks. Pet Porpoise Pool staff were also summoned to the scene.

“A pod of dolphins came in at 9.30am and we tried to get it closer to them but they took off,” Celia said.

When the youngster eventually headed out to sea, Celia and the NPWS staffers followed on their surfboards for some 600 metres.

“We heard dolphin sounds and then it took off. That was about 11.30am and that was the last time we saw him,” Celia said.

Celia said dolphins usually beached because they were sick or had become separated from their mothers by predators.

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