Nari - One year on!
Well it's been one year since Nari came into the feed area with a severe shark bite injury to the top part of his head around the blow hole area. It was an extremely stressful time for all of the Tangalooma staff as we were not sure if Nari would survive. Thankfully he did, and he is doing really well.
Nari is a mature male Inshore Bottlenose dolphin and he turned 13 years old on the 28th January. As a dominant male, Nari is spending a lot of time with other male dolphins chasing and mating with female dolphins around Moreton Bay. So on the nights when Nari does turn up to the program, he will eat a few fish and then he is off again and he may not return for a few nights.
When Nari was released back into the wild after recovering at Sea World from his injury, he was still very weak and was not able to keep up with the other dominant males that he normally swims with. For this reason he stayed quite close to Shadow, Tinkerbell and their young calves Zephyr and Phoenix as they are a lot slower than the males. Once Nari regained his strength about 2 weeks later, Nari was back to defending his position within his male social group and maintaining his male bonds and alliances.
Last week during the feed, Nari was playing with Zephyr, Shadows 18 month old calf, when Zephyr caught a puffer fish. Both Nari and Zephyr were passing the puffer fish to each other and swimming and rolling around each other, it was very cute to see. On the night when Nari was released, Zephyr and Phoenix were actually swimming in circles around Nari. They were very happy and excited to see him again.
Nari has become quite famous as his shark attack injury made headlines all over the world. Today we still have guests who travel from other countries hoping to see Nari. As Nari is a wild dolphin, we cannot always guarantee that he will arrive at the dolphin feeding program, particularly as he now seems to be very popular with the female dolphins in the area. We see this as a very positive sign as it shows us that Nari is not dependent on the program and will only come in if he chooses to.