Beloved WA Dolphin 'Frill' Has Died From Extreme Sunburn

She leaves behind several calves.

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01 February 2018, 1:48am

In news that will darken your day momentarily, Mandurah dolphin 'Frill', who will live on in the hearts of Western Australians forever more, has passed.

As reported by Fairfax, the Mandurah Peel-Inlet resident was first called to attention by the Mandurah Volunteer Dolphin Rescue, who observed the stranded mammal was suffering from wounds caused by sun exposure.

"Unfortunately one of our resident dolphins, an adult female called Frill, has likely stranded sometime last week without anyone finding her," read a post on the group's Facebook page.

"The evidence of this is shown in these photos as the extensive sunburn she has suffered ... We will keep a watchful eye on her and anticipate a full recovery.

"Other Peel-Harvey resident dolphins have suffered similar burns in the past and are now thriving."

Obviously, Frill did not thrive. Her body was found in shallow water in Coodanup on Sunday, stripped of most of her skin, with the injuries too severe to perform an autopsy. She was one of Mandurah’s breeding females, and leaves behind several calves.

Marine mammals tend to be covered in tender new skin, due to their fast skin-cell turnover. This, combined with the depletion of the ozone layer, means their backs are prone to photo damage.

If you see a stranded or dead dolphin please call the wildlife hotline on 9 474 9055 and Mandurah volunteer group on 0407 090 284.