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Caithness Field Club Bulletin
BOTTLE-NOSED DOLPHIN IN THURSO BAY
On 2 January 1994, I was walking along the promenade at Thurso when I saw an object lying above the tide line. On closer inspection it turned out to be a bottle-nosed dolphin. The dolphin was between 1 - 1.5 metres long.
Bottle-nosed dolphins Tursiops truncatus grow up to 3.5 metres (11 feet), with a weight of about 400 kilograms (880 pounds). It is an inshore species, favouring bays and estuaries, and is therefore susceptible to pollution. Once the most common around the British coast, it has declined in recent years.
The skin of the animal was criss-crossed with deep marks resembling old scars, but so numerous as to be more like the marks of being entangled in a fishing net. It would be interesting to know how common such an incident was.