We informed the public there was a sighting of an injured dolphin less than a month ago, on August 23rd 2013. It had a spear gun harpoon embedded in the tissue in front of the dorsal fin, measuring more than a meter in length. Despite being hurt,the dolphin was swimming and diving during the entire sighting but, due to poor weather conditions, we were unable to come closer and inspect the injuries. We encountered the dolphin the following day and carefully examined the photographs taken in the field. Through consultations with spear gun fishermen, we concluded the animal was shot with a pneumatic spear gun.

The animal was behaving in a normal way during the second sighting and did not show any signs of weakness. We ascertained that the harpoon wasplaced mostly in the connective and fatty tissue, causing very little if any damage to the muscles. Capturing the dolphin to remove the foreign object would be even more detrimental due to stress related to this kind of activity. We then assumed the harpoon would fall on its own.

A reminder -the dolphin in question is Bojan, one of the most resident and best known animals of Lošinj and Kvarnerić area. It was first encountered in 2004 and has since been recorded on 58 occasions. It was never photographed with a calf so we are assuming it is a male dolphin. Bojan was last seen healthy on August 8th2013 between the islands Lošinj and Orjula.

The reason for this announcement is good news related to Bojan. Considering we had no information coming in about the status of this animal, Blue World researchers set out in direction of Silba island in order to find the dolphin. At approximately 13:45, the researchers spotted a group of ten dolphins between the islands Silba and Veli Brak. These included Elmar, Sira, Mida, Dante, Lily, Šime, Thea, 0634, 0106 and Bojan! The animal was persistently swimming on the edge of the group but we were able to come close and ascertain that the harpoon had fallen off. By looking at the photographs, it is clearly visible that there is still a deep and open wound in place where the harpoon had been lodged. Although we had hoped for a positive outcome, these situations are never easily predictable so the status of the animal had to be monitored. We are grateful to all of you for visiting our FB pages (http://www.facebook.com/blueworldinstitute) and spreading the information concerning the need for tracking the animal as well as those of you who were showing interest and concern through e-mails and other public statements.

Although we are not completely sure as to how the animal got rid of the harpoon but we assume it caused continuous irritation. This would force the animal to try and shake it off by repeatedly jumping and landing on the water surface, thereby ripping the tissue surrounding the object. This is similar to the way dolphins get rid of parasites.

Researchers following Bojan in the group with other animals concluded the animal was behaving in a completely normal fashion and was well-off. Bojan showed no signs of avoidance which was contrary to our expectations considering it had sustained the injury while in proximity to a boat. In the two hours spent with the researchers, the group was following a trawler but were not feeding. They were socialising with one another.

Blue World researchers will continue to monitor the status of the injured dolphin and considering this last sighting, it is very likely the animal will very quickly recover. We hope that the friendly behaviour exhibited by this dolphin will not be abused in the future. There are more photographs available at our FB page.

At the same time, there is still another animal in need of our attention. A dolphin entangled in fishing monofilament for over a year remains in the area around the island of Pašman. It is still waiting for a joint action to relieve it from this suffering. Blue World researcher conducting research in northern Dalmatia will try to monitor the status of this animal, named Košara after the island next to which it was first observed. We expect the initiative to come from appropriate institutions, namely the Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection. Blue World staff have several decades of experience working with dolphins and conducting research as well as many international contacts. We are ready to take part in a joint action to save this animal.

Once more, thank you for your support and interest!

More info on the work we do is available on our website www.blue-world.org, FB page www.facebook.com/blueworldinstitute, our phone 00385 51 604 666 and e-mail info@blue-world.org