Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Flooded Dolphins Dash for the Ocean

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Flooded Dolphins Dash for the Ocean

Article excerpt

Byline: Erin Brady erin.brady@dailyexaminer.com.au

CHANCES are you won't see any dolphins in the Clarence River this week.

They have been forced out to sea by the flood.

Southern Cross University dolphin researcher Dr Christine Fury said the dolphins would probably not return to the river system for at least several weeks.

The dolphin expert said there were two reasons the mammals left the Clarence River.

"Firstly, they can't live for very long in fresh water," Dr Fury said.

"Their skin sloughs off and they dehydrate when in fresh water, so with all of the freshwater run-off currently flooding into our rivers, they just can't physiologically stay in that environment because of their biology."

Dr Fury said it was the reverse of the human system.

"If we drink too much salt water we dehydrate and die," she said.

"If dolphins drink too much fresh water - through their skin - they dehydrate and die."

The second major reason they left the river system was the fish they feed on also needed to be in salt water to survive. …

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