News and media statements

All Parks and Wildlife Service news items and media statements produced after mid-August 2019 are available on the new departmental website .

New dolphin at Monkey Mia – mother and baby doing well

Dolphin calf with Surprise
Dolphin calf with Surprise Parks and Wildlife


One of the popular dolphins at the world-famous Monkey Mia has given birth, the first new arrival of the season.

Department of Parks and Wildlife officers are keeping a close eye on the calf and its mother Surprise to ensure they thrive.

Monkey Mia Dolphin Experience manager Cath Roberts said the calf, born yesterday 10 December, was the seventh for Surprise since the inception of the world-renowned dolphin program.

Ms Roberts said it was extremely important that mother and calf be carefully protected in the first few weeks of the calf's life.

“The Monkey Mia dolphins are of great research significance worldwide and even though this is Surprise’s seventh calf, great care needs to be taken to ensure the newborn is given the greatest chance of survival, as unfortunately there is a high mortality rate for dolphin calvesborn in the wild,” Ms Roberts said.

“It will be some time before the calf becomes accustomed to people being near, but there are protocols in place for its protection, and the Dolphin Experience sessions will continue to allow visitors to feed the other beach dolphins.”

Visitors to Monkey Mia can enjoy watching the dolphin calf learn how to swim confidently and observe its fetal folds, which can only be seen on the calf for the first weeks of its life, following 12 months’ gestation.

A competition to name the calf is underway on the ‘Australia’s Coral Coast’ Facebook page and will remain open until the end of December 2014.

Monkey Mia is in the World-Heritage listed Shark Bay and the location of one of the world’s longest study projectsinto Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins.

Parks and Wildlife recorded more than 90,000 visits to the Monkey Mia Dolphin Experience in 2013-14.


Media contact: Parks and Wildlife Media 9219 9999





Last modified on Thursday, 11 December 2014 09:14