Species: Bottlenose dolphin, (Tursiops truncatus)
Stranding Date: October 8, 2017
Location: Okaloosa Island, Florida
Samira’s story began on the beach after Hurricane Nate in 2017. Beach goers found the dolphin and called Florida Fish and Wildlife. Local response group Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge and Gulf World Marine Institute worked together for her rescue. Samira was underweight and did not have much energy, which are common observations in stranded animals. While the exact cause of her stranding is not clear, she might have been alone before the hurricane. Because young marine mammals learn feeding behaviors from their mother, separation too early is dangerous.
After 10 weeks of rehabilitation, Samira was deemed non-releasable. This National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA) decision was due to her very young age and lack of survival skills. Gulf World Marine Park is now her permanent home, where she is doing well. She is the smallest bottlenose dolphin, and has other young animals to socialize with.