Thursday, April 06, 2006

Rescued dolphin did not make it!

A young Atlantic bottlenose dolphin died late Saturday, hours after her rescue on Longboat Key.
The juvenile dolphin, which tried to beach herself, was found Saturday afternoon near a trailer park on the Gulf side of Longboat and taken to Mote Marine Laboratory.

The dolphin, named Kaya, was placed in Mote's Dolphin and Whale Hospital for rehabilitation.
There were numerous rake marks on Kaya, as well as healed skin lesions and a swollen shoulder, according to Mote. So Kaya, who weighed about 93 kilograms, received treatment, including fluids, antibiotics and vitamin E/selenium.

Mote spokeswoman Jamie Tacy said Kaya swam for a short period of time Saturday, but then quit. She went into shock and died at about 10:30 p.m. Saturday.

A necropsy - an animal autopsy - was performed on Kaya on Sunday but there was no obvious indication of what caused her death.

"Sometimes there will be blunt force," said Tacy, adding that test results from tissue and blood samples from Kaya are expected in about a week.

When the dolphin was found on Longboat Key, a number of people helped keep her alive until Mote rescue officials arrived.

"The people out there were great," Tacy said. "They kept her wet, but made sure they kept the blowhole out of the water. They did the right thing. They made sure she could breathe."

Three other dolphins remain at Mote for rehabilitation:

• Val, a female bottlenose, was found aground on a mud flat near Oldsmar in mid-February. Suffering from dehydration and emaciated, she was rescued by staff at Clearwater Marine Aquarium and brought to Mote.

• Harley, a young spinner dolphin, was found April 20, 2004, at Mustang Island, Texas, and brought to Mote last March.

• Moonshine was found April 28, 2003, at Marathon and brought to Mote in June of that year. He is considered a permanent resident of Mote.

How to help

To report a stranded dolphin, whale, manatee or sea turtle, call Mote's Stranding Investigation Program's 24-hour pager at (941) 988-0212. For more information about the program and Mote's Dolphin and Whale Hospital, go to

Quick "Facts about Dolphins"