“Bianca” tail walking, Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary – WDCS

A recent observation at Muston on the edge of Pelican Lagoon, Kangaroo Island,  has raised a broad spectrum of possibilities for scientists and interested observers. A Bottlenose dolphin, one of a group of 8 frolicking in the channel off the lagoon entrance, was observed “tailwalking” for a short distance. This behaviour has been noted previously only in limited locations and is considered to be a behaviour learned by trained animals in aquarium situations. This raises an interesting set of possibilities given the fact that certain animals in the Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary, some 150 kilometres distant are known to exhibit this behaviour. It is believed a female dolphin “Billie” who was released from Marineland Aquarium at West Beach, prior to its closure, taught other ADS dolphins to perform this feat, which raises fascinating questions of great scientific interest as to why this behaviour is now being observed on Kangaroo Island.