Shirt could kill dolphin, rangers warn pranksters

The person who intentionally trapped the dolphin in the shirt in f Koombana Bay could face fines up to $4,000 under the Wildlife Conservation Act

Clarifying the statement in an interview with the ABC, the department's Pia Courtis explained that it would be "unusual" if the dolphin had just swum into the clothing all by itself.

A member of the public saw the ensnared bottlenose dolphin on Australia Day morning, swimming in the waters of Koombana Bay in the WA city of Bunbury.

If the blowhole is covered, it can cause suffocation.

Wildlife authorities are concerned for the welfare of a dolphin spotted wearing a singlet off Western Australia's South West coast.

"It is unlikely that the dolphin swam into the singlet, so this appears to be an intentional act", a post of the department's Facebook said.

The Department of Parks and Wildlife is urging members of the public who may have seen the dolphin or can report its location to contact them

Unfortunately, the wildlife rangers were not able to locate the animal and are now looking for it.

Officials say they are unable to tell if the dolphin is tagged, which would make it much easier to find, since the shirt is covering its dorsal fin where such tags are typically implanted.

DPaW believe the shirt was intentionally placed on the animal and now fears for its health and safety.

The department said the maximum penalty under the Wildlife Conservation Act was about A$4000 (£2400, $3000).

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