Mysterious dolphin skin burn healing

Photo credit: Barbara Saberton

A few weeks ago I wrote about two bottlenose dolphins suffering from a mysterious skin burn and thankfully both are still alive and kicking or I mean swimming. The cow/calf pair, Wave and Tallula, have been monitored closely by researchers and dolphin enthusiasts near Adelaide and both dolphins are on the mend.

What caused the terrible skin condition remains a mystery. The top suspect is some type of burn, possibly from chemicals, hot water or sun exposure. Swabbing the lesions was discussed, but researchers were concerned that it would be too disruptive to a pair of dolphins already in very fragile health. And if they were able to solve the mystery, helping heal the wound/infection probably would be really tough to pull off anyway.

The dolphins are doing much better and are still the only dolphins in the local resident community with such terrible skin lesions. The calf, Tallula, is almost completely healed and Wave’s burn now covers half the original area. The above photo is a recent shot of Wave on the mend, although it still looks pretty bad. But if she made it this far, hopefully she is on the way to a full recovery.


  1. Bryan says

    Great to hear that these dolphins are recovering. Makes me wonder what kind of damage will be done as a result of the BP Spill. I hope we won’t be seeing pictures like the one attached to this post.

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