Bottlenose Dolphin Calf Rescued from Sanibel Brought to Mote's Hospital
Published Friday, January 14, 2011 7:00 am
by Hayley Rutger
Photo by Lawson Mitchell/Mote Marine Laboratory
A bottlenose dolphin calf was admitted to Mote Marine Laboratory's Dolphin and Whale Hospital Thursday afternoon following its rescue in the J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge.
The dolphin, nicknamed "Taz," was stranded in shallow water along a sandbar in the Sanibel Island (Lee County) wildlife refuge. A member of the public alerted Refuge staff, who reported the stranding to Florida's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). FWC staff rescued the animal, transferring it to Mote staff part way through the trip to Sarasota.
The male dolphin, whose age is estimated to be as young as 6 months, is 55 inches long and weighs just 90 pounds.
Why the dolphin stranded remains uncertain, but rescuers found the calf separated from its mother, which was not in sight. Bottlenose dolphin calves typically stay with their mothers until they are 3 to 6 years old, depending on them for food, protection and to help them learn how to feed independently and to safely navigate their environment.
Mote's animal care staff and volunteers placed the calf in a medical pool, where it received fluids and a basic medical exam. Today, he is swimming on his own and showing good energy. We are feeding Taz a special formula designed with the right nutrition for bottlenose calves.
Once Taz is stabilized, he will receive a more thorough veterinary exam.