Previously reported by various news outlet as a whale, turns out the “big fish” was actually a Risso’s Dolphin. According to Astro Awani, it was stranded in shallow waters close to Sabah’s east Lahad Datu town on Sunday. The dolphin is believed to weigh at least 400kg with a length of 4.5m.
With the help of firemen, marine policemen and ordinary folks, the dolphin was safely pushed back to open sea. Around 2.30pm, the rescue was thought to be successful as it was brought out to deep sea about three-kilometres away from shore. But further in the evening, the dolphin popped up again at shallow waters.
Sabah Wildlife Department director Augustine Tuuga, said the dolphin – which may have been mistaken as a baby whale by rescuers due to its size – has yet to return the open sea. This time, they’ve found some minor injuries on the dolphin but were not sure how it got them. Today, they will try to return the stranded dolphin again.
He said apart from the minor injuries, the dolphin looked healthy and that efforts were being made to send it off again.
“We hope it will return to where it belongs, and not come up near the shore again,” Tuuga said.
It was believed that the animal is likely to be separated from the group and got lost while entering a waterway. The Risso’s Dolphin is a protected animal according to the 1972 Wildlife Conservation Enactment.
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