Video: SeaWorld Orlando’s Dolphin Rehab

On February 1, 2012 by Jonathan Bright

At the end of last week we reported the refreshingly happy news that SeaWorld Orlando’s dedicated Animal Rescue Team – on-call 24/7 – had managed to save an injured dolphin.

The SeaWorld team were working with rescuers from Gulf World Marine Park, who found the 240-pound Atlantic spotted female dolphin stranded off Panama City beach originally. She is said to be responding very well to her treatment and, like a lot of Floridians, is eating a healthy amount of squid. Although I suspect she generally prefers to forgo the batter and squeeze of lemon.

The guys at SeaWorld Orlando have been kind enough to send us this video of the brave girl as she continues her rehab. The video includes a soundbite from Pedro Ramos-Navarrete, SeaWorld’s Zoological Supervisor:

SeaWorld has said she will continue to be monitored and receive care as vets make a constant assessment on her strength.

Spotted dolphins are generally found in sub-tropical and tropical waters such as Florida and the Caribbean Sea. They are characterised by a slim and lengthy beak, and of course their spots.

Spot patterning and colouration are different depending on whether the dolphin is a Pacific or Atlantic native, and tend to deepen in colour with age. The calves are usually spot-free at birth.

Interestingly these are some of the most social of the sea mammals, sometimes found in schools of thousands, and are often seen cavorting with other dolphin species.

During the time of tuna purse seining fishing operations during the ‘60s and ‘70s, it was the spotted species that sadly accounted for most of the collateral dolphin casualties. The 1972 Marine Mammal Protection Act went some way to reversing the decline; however, those statutes can be largely ignored by ex-US fishing fleets, and these beautiful animals remain at risk as a direct result of tuna fishing today.