Mrs Mandela Survey 226 at Dashwood Bay – Sue Holman

A wonderful case of survival …..

First observed on a marine tour on KI Marine Adventures in February 2018 on the pristine North Coast of Kangaroo Island, South Australia in the North Coast Mission Blue Hope Spot ,   Bottlenose dolphin Mandela has survived what appears to be appalling predation, presumably a shark attack.

Unrecognisable Bottlenose dolphin observed on KI Marine Adventures at Dashwood Bay in 2018 – Nina Maurovic

Often observed on surveys since that first sighting, with other “regular” dolphins, and in the close company of a juvenile (Mr Wishing) she appears to be doing as well as possible and taking full advantage of these shallow, protected waters  – critical habitat for a large number of dolphins and a range of other species.

Mandela and Mr Wishing January 2019 Dashwood Bay – KI/VH Dolphin Watch

Easily recognised by all Citizen Scientists on board regular surveys, it is always a joy to see her, over the years.

To our great delight Mrs Mandela was observed at Dashwood Bay with a brand new calf in January 2021 which we called Scooter, due to the high level of activity! Fortunately female and calf are both still doing well and observed regularly on surveys and marine tours.  

Mrs Mandela and new calf Scooter January 2021 – KI / VH Dolphin Watch
Mrs Mandela and Scooter January 19th 2021 Dashwood Bay – Sue Holman

The challenging mystery remains, unsolved to date despite our best efforts……what actually happened and what was her identity before the attack ?

Is she a known female in our region over all these years or did she more recently choose these protected waters for sanctuary?

We may never know….

Long may Mrs Mandela and her progeny remain safe, survive and thrive.  

#bottlenosedolphins #citizenscience #conservation #protection #missionblue #northcoast #hopespot

Mrs Mandela January 2019 Dashwood Bay – Tony Bartram
Scooter and Mrs Mandela January 2022 Dashwood Bay – Sue Holman