Large risso dolphin washes up at Iluka
AT first sighting, some of the locals thought the corpse washed up on the beach north of Iluka yesterday belonged to a small northern right whale.
But officers of the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) have since identified the mammal as a risso dolphin.
It was found washed up near Frazers Reef.
It is one of the largest in the dolphin group, which are technically whales.
At birth they weigh about 60kg and are 1-1.5 metres long.
They grow to about 230kg and males can reach over four metres in length. The Iluka dolphin was an adult female of about three metres.
They are usually found in groups of 25 to several hundred, but may also be solitary.
It is rare that they get stranded in northern NSW. The population is believed to be reasonably secure throughout most of its range.