Thursday, November 03, 2005

Citizens save beached dolphin

A group of citizens come to the rescue of a stranded dolphin that beached itself on Padre Island near Bob Hall Pier. The dolphin now named Sam doesn't appear to be in good health.
"Came out to watch the sunrise this morning. Lady came over there was a beached dolphin," said Cory Carlson. It was that surprise uniting a group of strangers.

They held on to Sam like it was their own child. "She or he was tired. It didn't seem to fight to much, and we were keeping it afloat. It just laid in your arms," said Tripp Howse. At times they tried to nudge the dolphin back into the water, but Sam never managed to get very far.

"There's obviously something wrong. They don't wash up on the beaches unless there's something wrong. We don't know what it is at this time. He looks a little bit thin," said Andi Wickham.

The Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network decided to take the dolphin in for an examination, but it was no easy task. Volunteers first pushed the eight and a half foot dolphin closer to shore. The next big challenge was lifting Sam who weighs several hundred pounds.It took eight people's strength to load the dolphin. Once on dry land, experts found several mysterious abrasions on the dolphin's beak and flipper.

The people at the Animal Rehabilitation Keep in Port Aransas will try to rehabilitate the dolphin. For those who got to meet Sam they will not forget the experience.

"This was one was fortunate. Hopefully he's pretty strong and will make it," said Gary Parker. Everyone on shore wishes Sam the best. The next step, is to figure out what's wrong with Sam and then decide what's the best course of treatment for him.

Quick "Facts about Dolphins"