• Eastern Cape Rising Sun

Dolphin found dead on Bonza Bay shoreline

Updated: Jun 16

By Zolile Mate

An Indo Pacific bottlenose dolphin died after it was stranded west of the Qinra River mouth at Bonza Bay last week.

Lee Chan Steenkamp de Vries, a Beacon Bay resident alerted the East London Museum. The dolphin that weighs 230kg and is commonly found in the Eastern Coast of Africa, died from consuming hundreds of worms on an empty stomach.

A full necropsy (animal autopsy) was undertaken on the 2.41-meter female dolphin by East London scientist Kevin Cole. Cole investigates stranded marine mammals such as whales, dolphins and seals. When discovered, the dolphin had been washed back out to the sea by the incoming tide, it was secured higher up on the rocks and a full set of measurements were taken along with samples of muscle and skin. These species are the most common to be seen close inshore by people who frequent the beach.

“The possible cause of illness was discovered in the gastric region which was full of worms. These parasitic creatures had caused the animal much distress and her stomach was also empty. After removing the skull and other internal organs for further study, the mammal was reported to Dr Greg Hofmeyr at Bayworld in Port Elizabeth. Greg curates the largest marine mammal collection in the Southern Hemisphere,” detailed Cole. This is the first dolphin stranding in the Metro this year. Its remains have been buried.


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