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Dolphin’s Glandore birth a film ‘first’

April 29th, 2024 9:00 AM

Mother and calf pairs in a bottlenose dolphin nursery group seen in Glandore Harbour on April 17th, with the new calf towards the bottom of the image. (Photo: Heather Mahmood)

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FOR the first time ever in British and Irish waters a bottlenose dolphin was captured giving birth on film in Glandore.

The incredible drone footage was caught by chance by local resident and Irish Whale and Dolphin Group member Heather Mahmood.

The birth was only seen when Heather’s daughter Ruá (12) spotted it while they were looking at the footage two days later on their computer.

‘We knew there was something unusual happening within the pod, as to have bottlenose dolphins in so close to shore is rare,’ said Heather.

‘To have a world’s first recording of a bottlenose dolphin giving birth is incredibly special and we very lucky to have been able to capture it, even if it was by chance!’ she said.

Heather sent their footage to Padraig Whooley and William Helps from the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group, who in turn sent it to bottlenose experts in Shannon and Scotland who confirmed the rarity of what they had captured.

‘Ruá is now even more determined to become a marine biologist,’ said her mum.

Ruá Mahmood, who spotted the birth of the dolphin calf on the drone footage.


‘She has taken the footage into school and showed everyone in Glandore National School. The birth is another reason we need to protect our waters and hopefully this documentation will be another addition to the campaigns for greater protection of our ocean wildlife.’

Whale Watch Ireland 2024 takes place on Saturday May 18th when the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group will be running free and guided local whale watches around the country, including West Cork.

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