The best holiday gift

Yesterday we received the best holiday gift we could have asked for during these December days. As many of you know, apart from studying the abundance and behaviour of dolphins in the Gulf of Trieste and neighbouring waters we also study their health. Over several occasions this year, one of our dolphins appeared not to be in the best body condition, but this can sometimes be difficult to assess from the boat and dolphins also differ among each other. We therefore wanted to obtain aerial footage that would allow us to better assess the dolphin’s body condition. However, a combination of a number of circumstances, including weather, technical problems or simply dolphin being nowhere to be found, prevented us from doing so. Despite the effort, early hours, endless staring into the sea and freezing in the wind, we just could not catch a break.

Yesterday we planned our last field day of this year. And on this very day, just before holidays, we finally had a stroke of luck – the sea was flat calm, we managed to find the dolphin and we also managed to successfully obtain good aerial footage. Our persistence paid off, especially as we were very pleased to see that the dolphin’s body condition appeared good. Further detailed analyses of footage of this and other dolphins will provide us with a better insight into the health of these animals. We could not wish for a better ending of our research year!