Thursday, February 16, 2006

Rescued dolphin recovering in marine mammal hospital

An adult female Atlantic bottlenose dolphin - "Val" for Valentine's Day - which was stranded near Oldsmar last weekend, is now in rehabilitation at Mote Marine's animal hospital.

The dolphin was transported by the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Mote staff took blood and tissue samples when the she arrived Sunday to determine what health problems she has. Mote's chief veterinarian, Dr. Charles Manire, said the dolphin is covered with abscesses in addition to being extremely underweight and dehydrated.

Staff and volunteers are spending time in a rehab tank with the dolphin, supporting her to ensure that she does not drown.The dolphin also ate on her own Monday morning.

"When this dolphin arrived, we were not sure she had a chance of survival, but since she has started swimming and eating on her own, we are much more optimistic," said Manire. "We are moving ahead with treatment for the widespread infections that we have observed."

Quick "Facts about Dolphins"