Stranding Date: April 19, 2019
Stranding Location: St. George Island, Franklin County, Florida
Stranding Circumstances: beached during storm, had sponges in stomach
On April 19, 2019, the Gulf World Marine Institute (GWMI) rescue team received a call from concerned St. George Island Plantation residents about a stranded dolphin on a nearby beach. The team arrived at the scene at approximately 2 p.m. EDT where, with the help of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve staff, they stabilized the animal identified as a male rough-toothed dolphin (Steno bredanensis). The team, which has extensive experience with this species, performed an initial health assessment on-site, and then transported the animal to GWMI for further examination and to begin rehabilitation. Upon ultrasound, the veterinary team discovered that he had ingested multiple sponges, which are not normally part of a rough-toothed dolphin’s diet.
Monitored 24-hours-a-day at first, the team steadily saw improvement in energy and demeanor from the lethargic animal. Eventually, he began swimming on his own, and had an improved appetite for capelin and herring! The staff soon began finding sponges in the habitat, and soon they were all safely removed. Continuing to improve, we will keep you posted on the status of GW2019022A. With this adoption, you will receive two 6×8 photos, along with the certificate, information sheet and GWMI sticker.