VIDEO: Rare Dolphin Spotted Off Fujairah Coast

by Vaishnavi Venkataraman
VIDEO: Rare Dolphin Spotted Off Fujairah Coast

After gazelles roamed the streets of Dubai, a rare breed of dolphin was spotted off Fujairah Coast. The countrywide lockdown has pushed us indoors and turned the empty roads outside into a vast national park, where wild animals are roaming freely with least human intervention. While the coronavirus scare has got all of us captivated, it has literally given a new lease of life to these gorgeous creatures.

A rare albino Risso’s dolphin was spotted in the Fujairah waters. A video showing about 2,000 adults and juveniles leaping in and out of the water was shot on Monday. The dolphin was sighted about 35 kilometres off Fujairah’s southern coastline. Footage of the spectacular event was sent to the Fujairah Whale Project who posted it on their Facebook page.

The Fujairah Whale Project said that the video depicts a mixed group of adults and juveniles and is the first time a pod of this size has been reported in these waters. Among the dolphins, and clearly visible in the video, is a very rare albino individual. This is the first albino recording for the project and indeed for Fujairah, and quite possibly the wider region.

Although Risso’s dolphins often show many white markings due to scarring from tooth raking during social interactions, an all-white dolphin like this one is a much rarer phenomenon, mentioned the Fujairah Whale Project. Field work to continue the scientific research for the project is due to commence again this year once travel restrictions related to COVID 19 are lifted.

What Else?

And that’s not all! A host of other animals were also spotted in the UAE during the lockdown:

1. Cownose Rays At Business Bay

A video captured by Alain shows Cownose rays surfacing in the Dubai waters. Cownose are a type of stingray named after the shape of their head. They are active swimmers and are rarely found lying motionless.

2. Gazelles Roam The Dubai Streets

Gazelles were spotted taking a jolly stroll along the streets of Dubai as people stay inside due to coronavirus pandemic.
Two species are prevalent in the UAE, the Mountain Gazelle which are found primarily in mountainous areas and on gravel plains, and the Arabian Sand Gazelle or Reem Gazelle, like the kind seen in the pictures.

3. Turtles At Sir Bu Nair Island

About 63 Hawksbill turtle nests were spotted at the Sir Bu Nair Island Reserve in Sharjah. The turtles reportedly arrived on 12th March and are expected to lay their eggs until the end of May, said the Sir Bu Nair Marine Research Centre of the Environment and Protected Areas Authority in Sharjah.