Adopt a Dolphin Biographies
006, also known as Sarafina, was first sighted by researchers in June 1993 and so was one of the first dolphins to be added to the IWDG Shannon Dolphin catalogue. As she was an adult when first sighted, she is believed to over 30 years old and is an important female in the Shannon dolphin population, having had three calves since 2012 alone. Her calf Nala, 801 the first calf to be officially recorded in the catalogue, was born in 2012. Her other known calves are 860, Ari, born in 2015 and 880 born in 2018. She is most frequently seen with her calves and other adults Bob 104, and Sandy Salmon 242.
Sarafina has a prominent notch in the middle of her fin. There are several Shannon dolphins with a similar notch so she is matched using the white rake marks crossing the front of her fin. While it may not seem like much its enough to identify her easily.
104, also known as Bob, was first added to the catalogue in July 2002? Bob is an adult male and is the most frequently sighted dolphin by researchers. He ranges throughout the estuary but is most often spotted in the inner estuary near Money point and Tarbert, so you may see him when crossing on the ferry. He is most frequently seen with other adult males such as 084, Sabre and 095, Giado, and the females 006, Sarafina, and 242, Sandy Salmon.
Bob has three small to medium sized notches along his broad dorsal fin. These notches, with the heavy rake marks along the leading edge and sides of his fin, make him very recognisable.(33 words) Both Dorsal pictures
242 Sandy Salmon
She is the only bottlenose dolphin to be known to have live-stranded on the shores of the Shannon Estuary. She stranded on 1 June 2012 on Béal Beach, Co. Kerry. She was nine months pregnant at the time and vomited salmon on the sandy beach, hence the name. She was successfully refloated by IWDG scientists and members. She went on to have her calf 817, Muddy Mackerel later that summer. They are regularly seen together in the Shannon Estuary, foraging, travelling, socialising and resting with other bottlenose dolphins in the population. Sandy has since gone on to have another calf, 862, who was born in 2016. Sandy’s dorsal fin does not have notches, so researchers use other features to match her. Her most identifiable feature is the bump along the trailing (back) edge of her dorsal fin. Rakes and pale patches along the leading (front) edge of her fin are also used to confirm the match.
801, also known as Nala, was the first calf we added to our catalogue in 2012 and so was our first known second-generation animal. Her mother is 006, Sarafina, who is added to the catalogue when monitoring began in 1993.
She was seen bowriding this tanker during the summer. Less than 5 weeks later she was seen with her first calf, 886, currently gender unknown. Like their mommy 886 is special as they are the first third-generation dolphin added to the catalogue, a major milestone in the Shannon dolphin project.
Like her mother Sarafina she has a notch in the centre of her dorsal fin. Nala is most often seen with Sarafina and younger sibling 880, along with Sabre, Bob and Norma Jean.