Resort owners get together to save beached dolphin off Kudat

The 1.5m-long dolphin was found with netting marks all over its body.

KOTA KINABALU: A juvenile dolphin, which washed up on a beach in front of a resort in Kudat today, was safely returned to the sea, thanks to the efforts of Sabah Parks and volunteers.

Revealing this to FMT today, resort owner Tommy Lam said his workers found the struggling dolphin in 30cm-deep water at 8am today.

“It looks like the dolphin found itself entangled in the many nets set up by fishermen near the sea and got lost during low tide,” he said.

He said he immediately alerted Sabah Parks. Other resort operators and their workers came down to the beach to assist him in the rescue effort.

The dolphin, about 1.5m long, had netting marks all over its body and seemed reluctant to go back to the sea.

“After more than four hours, at 12.30pm, the dolphin finally swam back towards open sea,” he said.

At the moment, he said, it seemed that the dolphin had safely found its way back into the sea.

However, resort operators and divers will be on the lookout in case it returns.

The rescue effort was headed by diving instructor Ray Ng, assisted by two Sabah Park personnel and another diving instructor.

Commenting on the presence of nets in the area, Lam said setting up nets to catch fish is unfortunately the way of life for the fishing community in Kudat.

Previously, he said a killer whale was also caught in the nets and died.

“It is difficult to find a balance between conserving marine life and preserving the traditional lifestyle of the people.

“The only thing we can do is to ensure we are always on hand to help any unfortunate creature that gets caught while travelling in these waters,” he said.

Kudat, especially the beaches around Simpang Mengayau near the tip of Borneo, has increasingly becoming an important eco-tourism spot for Sabah.

FMT has contacted the Sabah Wildlife Department for more information but has not received any comments yet.