A dolphin that was frolicking inside a swimming enclosure at Ramsgate Beach has been freed from the netted area.
Swimmers were urged not to enter the water while two dolphins were swimming close to shore in Sydney’s Botany Bay.
One dolphin was believed to have entered the area on Thursday and had been feeding on fish.
Marine rescue group ORRCA had been monitoring the animal and was concerned about people trying to swim with it.
“It’s not good for the dolphin and it’s very, very dangerous for humans as well,” said ORRCA Vice President Jules Farrell on ABC Radio Sydney.
Ms Farrell said the last thing she wanted to see was someone “headbutted by a dolphin”.
She said the dolphin had been behaving normally, but the group was concerned the animal may run out of food and not know how to exit the area.
“It’s maybe wanting to go out the same way it came back in,” Ms Farrell said.
“But it’s got other ways to get out where the nets have been pulled up.”
Dolphins free to swim away
In a Facebook post, Bayside City Council said the dolphins were not trapped in the swimming enclosure and netting had been removed after damage from storms earlier this year.
“It’s such a treat to see them playing so close to the shore,” the post said.
“We want to keep them safe and ensure they enjoy their visit to Bayside.
“Please follow the expert advice so we can all witness this magical moment.”
The nets reach from the high tide mark to the sea floor.
They are designed to keep out sharks and rays, but allow for fish to enter and provide habitat for the endangered Sydney seahorse.
Sea Dragon Diving Co was undertaking planning with NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and ORRCA to remove a section of the nets to give the dolphin another way of leaving the enclosure.
The dolphin left the enclosure after the section was removed.
Carl Fallon from Sea Dragon Diving Co said their crews had spotted a dolphin in the area earlier in the week and saw it leave the area on Wednesday night.
Ms Farrell said there were concerns about the use of heavy machinery due to the impact they may have on the dolphins.
“Their hearing is they’re very sensitive,” she said.
“With the heavy machinery that they will have to use, it could cause that dolphin to become distressed.”