Badly injured dolphin ‘Maximus’ shelters in Pelican Lagoon

A badly injured bottlenose dolphin has been recovering in Pelican Lagoon, Kangaroo Island for the last three months.

The Kangaroo Island Victor Harbor Dolphin Watch organisation has been keeping eye on the solitary and slow-moving dolphin, now named “Maximus”.

He was first photographed on July 27 and has been seen regularly every few weeks since.

He or she is readily identifiable due to the extreme damage to its dorsal fin, presumably from human activities – boating, fishing or similar.

This likely cause of damage has been confirmed by Dolphin Watch mentor Dr Mike Bossley AM of the Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary and Whale and Dolphin Conservation.

Dolphin Watch founder Tony Bartram said Maximus had been a regular visitor in 2018 to Pelican Lagoon, and was a perfect example of the resilience shown by a number of dolphins around Kangaroo Island and in the Fleurieu region. 

“Injuries of this nature markedly increase metabolism and cause increased energy expenditure, which effects overall health,” Mr Bartram said. 

“These increases are often intensified by a reduction in food intake.”

If anyone has any information regarding sightings of Maximus including images, please contact Tony Bartram on 8553 7190 or email

“The more information received the better chance we will have to piece together a greater understanding of the movement patterns of Maximus and other dolphins in our local population groups,” Mr Bartram said.

“All this can lead to greater protection measures and conservation initiatives. Safe travels Maximus.”