Dolphins and a Seal Spotted Swimming in Melbourne’s Yarra River

By Mimi Nguyen Ly
Mimi Nguyen Ly
Mimi Nguyen Ly
Mimi Nguyen Ly is a senior reporter for the Epoch Times. She covers U.S. news and world news. Contact her at
August 21, 2018Updated: August 21, 2018

A seal and two dolphins were spotted in Melbourne’s iconic Yarra River on Aug. 13 frolicking in the brown river water near the Webb pedestrian bridge.

In this video uploaded by What’s On Melbourne, the three can be seen surfacing near each other.

Commenters on the post joked that the animals might grow an extra flipper or a third eye from swimming in the city’s river that still suffers legacy pollution from past industries.

“Are we sure that is not just one dolphins that has grown an extra fin due to radioactive Yarra water?”

Meanwhile, others said the water must be clean for the animals to want to swim there, saying “brown doesn’t mean dirty.”

Many joked that the animals might have escaped from the nearby Sea Life Aquarium.

“Did they escape the aquarium or something? Why was a seal floating with two dolphins in that place…” read one comment.

The last reported sighting of dolphins in the Yarra was on May 10, 2018, of up to two dolphins swimming downstream.

Yarra River Melbourne
File photo: A ferry transports tourist down Melbourne’s Yarra River on Aug. 14, 2018. (William West/AFP/Getty Images)

The Dolphin Research Institute (DRI) says the dolphins may have been following bream migrating at the time.

The Yarra River empties into Port Phillip Bay, the large expanse of water south of Melbourne that covers about 1,930 square kilometres (480,000 acres).

In 2011, a new species of dolphins was confirmed as local to Port Phillip Bay—the Burrunan dolphin. There are about 100-120 Burrunan dolphins residing in the Bay, and about 50-20 in the Gippsland Lakes, which is located about 280km from Melbourne, according to DRI. They have not been found elsewhere in the world.

It is not known whether the most recent sighting was of Burrunan dolphins or another species.

Storyful contributed to this story