Species: Rough-toothed dolphin, (Steno bredanensis, offshore species)
Stranding Date: August 19, 2009
Location: Cape San Blas, Florida
Kitana washed onto the beach about 2 hours east of Gulf World. She was rescued and brought to Gulf World to begin her rehabilitation. A young dolphin, her concerns included pneumonia, internal parasites, and severe stomach ulcers. Additionally, her behavior showed she likely had some hearing loss. This is a problem for marine mammals in open waters, because they need be able to echolocate (hear sound bouncing off of objects) to find food. Hearing tests later confirmed that she does indeed have significant hearing loss.
Due to her young estimated age and the lack of knowledge of releasing a single animal of her species, National Marine Fisheries Services (NOAA), deemed her non-releasable. After several months in quarantine, she joined the rough-toothed dolphin population at Gulf World to begin socializing. Now, she is a permanent member of her population, and is doing well.