Photo: Tenerife Cabildo
Updated 8 July: It is still around! Today it’s visited Playa de las Vistas in Los Cristianos, and the beach has been temporarily closed off for the dolphin’s protection. Cetacean and environmental experts are on site and actively engaged with monitoring the animal, and they say that this involves watching it closely while allowing it its free choice. They appear to have been annoyed by comments on Facebook by people who have no understanding of marine protection issues but who have nonetheless felt free to allege that no-one was there to do anything, and that those who were there (!) were just “standing around doing nothing”. They also refute suggestions of tempting or herding it out to sea while they are studying the possible reasons for it coming into shore in the first place, especially since it now appears to have an injury on its side. Tenerife Cabildo Environment Councillor Isabel García has asked the public to keep away from the beach until the situation is clarified in case the animal is frightened or disturbed, and the Guardia Civil are on site to ensure that her request is taken seriously.
Updated 6 July: And it came back. Now, the Tenerife Cabildo’s Environment Dept is acting in collaboration with the Canarian Government andAdeje Ayuntamiento to protect the bottlenose dolphin, which is confirmed to be neither injured nor ill. The Cabildo asks for the public’s cooperation as they try to help the cetacean return to open sea as soon as possible. The Cabildo also confirms that far from it being true that nothing was done over the past few days “because it was the weekend”, as social media gossip was alleging, in fact the insular Wild Animal Recuperation Centre La Tahonilla has had personnel at the beach the whole weekend supervising and monitoring the situation and the dolphin’s condition. Various parts of Playa La Pinta and Playa Torviscas have been cordoned off whenever this appeared required to ensure the animal’s safety. For the moment, however, the dolphin doesn’t seem inclined to leave the coastline.
Updated 4pm, 5/7: Adeje Ayuntamiento has confirmed that the dolphin has now been led back to open sea. The creature had suffered no injuries and was apparently in good health despite its unusual behaviour in coming so close to land. Since it is a protected species, the beach was closed for the entire operation but the council has now reopened the beach.
Original post 5 July: The La Pinta beach in Puerto Colón has been closed because a dolphin has been swimming in the bay since yesterday, apparently trapped. Marine experts have been called in to evaluate the situation, and Mayor Fraga himself is updating on the cetacean’s plight. As of this afternoon, it can be said that the dolphin is uninjured but attempts are underway to get it to approach the coast to make a firmer diagnosis. Good luck to all, especially the dolphin!