Tony McRae

Tony McRae

Former Minister for the Environment; Climate Change; Disability Services

    Shock makes it three for Monkey Mia newcomers

    18/01/2007 12:00 AM

    Monkey Mia’s beach dolphins welcomed another new addition to their number recently, after regular beach visitor Shock gave birth to a calf earlier this month.

    First time mother Shock joins Surprise and matriarch Nicky as the latest Monkey Mia dolphins to give birth at the popular tourist spot.

    Environment Minister Tony McRae said it was pleasing to see the dolphins breeding so successfully and adding to the group.

    “The Shark Bay World Heritage Area is known around the world as a premier tourist spot and every year more than 100,000 visitors come to the area to interact with the dolphins,” Mr McRae said.

    “The fact that the group of dolphins who regularly visit the Monkey Mia beach has been increased by three new arrivals this season bodes well for the future of this iconic Western Australian tourism experience.

    “The new calves will provide a memorable experience for visitors to the region over the summer period.”

    The Minister said despite the many thousands of people the Monkey Mia dolphins attracted every year, the health and well-being of the animals were always of primary concern.

    “The welfare of the dolphins and other important species in Shark Bay is vitally important,” he said.

    “Therefore, visitors will be asked to continue to observe specific guidelines when participating in dolphin interaction while the new calves and their mothers are settled into the program.”

    Mr McRae said the three new arrivals and their mothers were being managed in accordance with established protocols designed to protect the welfare of the dolphins as they became accustomed to visitors being close to the new calves.

    "This means that some of the interaction experiences at Monkey Mia have changed since the first calf arrived on December 1,” he said.

    “These protocols will continue to be observed until Shock and her calf are settled into the program.”

    Dolphin calves are totally dependent on their mothers and need to be constantly moving during their first few weeks of life, and the calves can become disorientated while swimming in shallow water.

    Because of this, visitors will be asked to stay out of the water whenever a mother and calf visit the beach to reduce the risk of any misadventure which can include accidental beaching.

    However, if other dolphins are visiting the beach and mothers and calves are not around, then people will be able to take part in the usual feeding program.

    Minister's office - 9213 7150