Rescue operation frees dolphin calf
Gizmo has had fishing line entangled around its fin since April. Picture: DEC

Gizmo, a dolphin calf that has been swimming around the Swan River with fishing line entangled around its fin since April, has been freed.

The three-year-old calf became caught in the line on April 27 but was freed this morning following a successful rescue operation.

Wildlife offers made four attempts previously to disentangle Gizmo while it was in Swan Canning Riverpark but its highly protective mother, Tupac, kept putting herself between the rescue boat and the calf.

Water police sighted Gizmo near East Fremantle Rowing Centre this morning before police divers were able to approach and capture the dolphin.

A rescue team from the Department of Environment and Conservation, Perth Zoo, Murdoch University and WA Police, supported by the Swan River Trust, placed the dolphin in a sling.

While disentangling the line from his fin, rescuers also removed additional line embedded in its tail.

DEC wildlife officer Cameron Craigie said the rescue was carried out smoothly and quickly, with the minimum stress to the calf and its mother.

“Thanks to the quick thinking of Water Police and the speedy response of the agencies involved, this dolphin is now swimming free of lines and now has the opportunity to live a long and healthy life,” he said.

“Perth Zoo veterinary staff assessed the calf after the line was removed, and while its fin is significantly damaged, there does not appear to be any infection. The calf was given antibiotics and vitamins as a precaution.

“We would like to thank the general public and numerous Swan River Trust Dolphin Watch volunteers for reporting sightings of

Gizmo over the last few weeks, which has helped us mount rescue attempts and learn more about Gizmo’s health and behaviour patterns.”

Gizmo will continue to be monitored over the next few days.

Sick or injured wildlife can be reported to the Wildcare Helpline on 9474 9055.


The West Australian

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