On May 5th, 2021, HSWRI and partners successfully rescued a young dolphin that became trapped in Spruce Creek, in New Smyrna Beach. The 3-year-old dolphin has been known to our team since its birth and was last seen with its mother in February. We have been closely monitoring the dolphin for the last 5 weeks while it remained in the same area, unable to leave the creek.
The dolphin exhibited deteriorated body condition, and worsening skin lesions. There is only a small area at the mouth of the creek where salinity levels are suitable for dolphins. Moving west in the creek, it becomes freshwater. In consultation with NOAA Fisheries a rescue took place involving many collaborators. During the rescue, we discovered that one of the dolphin’s flippers was badly entangled in fishing line. The gear was removed and wounds treated by a skilled veterinarian. Fortunately, the dolphin was otherwise healthy.The young dolphin was immediately relocated back to its usual habitat in the Halifax River. After two hours we were beyond thrilled to observe the young dolphin socializing with other dolphins and reuniting with her mother.
We are grateful to our friends at Riverwood Plantation & Saw Grass Point for their help! This rescue was a success thanks to SeaWorld, Volusia County Environmental Management, Blue World Research Institute, UF, and Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute.
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