A bottlenose dolphin calf that accidentally became entangled with a recreational fishing net last summer was named Gizmo by researchers at Murdoch University studying their movements in the Swan River, at Perth, Western Australia. Several attempts were made by Department of Environment and Conservation authorities to free Gizmo, but with mum being extremely protective and clearly teaching Gizmo to be evasive, it was extremely difficult. Fortunately, in late June, the Perth Water Police, who had been on alert to this issue for some time, were able to successfully disentangle Gizmo. A great job, well done!
With the net free, the teams of researchers at at the two universities, and wildlife officers at DEC and the Swan River Trust, were all interested to watch how this little fellow would fair.
To everyones’ great delight, near the end of October and almost three months since being disentangled, Gizmo was finally sighted and photographed with its’ mother bow-riding the wakes of the numerous boats plying the lower river during a busy Sunday afternoon. Most recently, and only a few weeks ago (November), Gizmo was photographed again in the Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour travelling with two other juveniles, and interestingly this time without his mother. He looked like he was just one of the boys, hunting fish amongst the piles. Maybe Gizmo has grown up? A great result given his chances of living with the net cutting into his dorsal looked slim only a few short months ago. Well done to all who helped!