Dr Scott McCauley encountered the dead dolphin.
Dr Scott McCauley encountered the dead dolphin. Submitted

Another dead dolphin found

ANOTHER dead dolphin has been found under mysterious circumstances in Gladstone Harbour.

Dr Scott McAuley was fishing on the harbour on Thursday morning when he spotted the carcass floating between Curtis Island and Facing Island.

“I was just wondering what it was,” Dr McAuley told The Observer. “It was just a big white thing floating on the water. So I took my boat closer to have a look and it turned out to be a dolphin. It's not good to see them dead. It's certainly an unexpected thing.”

A representative from the Department of Environment & Resource Management said Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) rangers had recovered the dead dolphin east of Turtle Island yesterday morning. The representative said the carcass was brought to Gladstone and a necropsy will be performed to determine the cause of death.

In an extraordinary and bizarre twist to the story, Dr McAuley, who is a veterinary surgeon, also ended up performing the post-mortem on the dead dolphin.

When Dr McAuley spotted the floating body, he took a photo, had his wife call QPWS and thought that would be the end of his involvement.

But after QPWS recovered the body, it was brought to Dr McAuley's surgery, where he performed the post-mortem yesterday. Under DERM protocol, Dr McAuley was unable to discuss details of the necropsy with the media.

Last month, two dead dolphins were found in on Gladstone Harbour. One was too decayed for a necropsy. The other could not be recovered. Dr McAuley said he had been fishing in Gladstone Harbour for eight years, but had never seen a dead dolphin before.