Atlantic bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)

(MML 0701)

Age Class Calf
Gender Female
Date Stranded January 29, 2007
Location of Stranding South of Stickney Point off Sarasota Bay
Date of Arrival January 29, 2007
Number of Days of Care 57 days

Final Disposition

Released March 28, 2007 in Sarasota Bay


Dolphin free-swimming after admission.

1/30 This 1.5 year-old dolphin was recovered from Sarasota Bay after being found with monofilament fishing line wrapped around the base of its tail.  The fishing line had embedded deeply and will require surgery for removal.  The dolphin also vomited some plastic and will need to receive a gastroscopy.  It has been started on antibiotics and fluids since it is not eating.

1/31 Dolphin shows no interest in food at this point.

2/1 Dolphin continues to swim on its own, but still is not eating.  Blood work this morning looked significantly improved.  Surgery is planned for tomorrow morning.

2/2 Performed thermography, gastroscopy, and surgery on tail.  Was unable to remove all of the monofilament as there are multiple loops completely encircling the base of the tail that are down to the bone.  Will perform another surgery early next week.  Dolphin has minor gastric

ulcers and several abscesses around the body that are active, but are responding to treatment.  Still not eating.

2/3 Offered live pinfish and dolphin began eating, then ate dead pinfish, then other prey species.

2/4 Continuing to eat if offered live prey first.

2/5 Dolphin is finally taking any fish offered to it.  Exam this morning showed improvement in blood values and gastric cytology.  Radiology of peduncle showed no evidence of fishing hooks embedded, but did show boney involvement of one vertebrae in the area of the monofilament.

2/6 Surgery this morning was successful, with the fishing line being completely removed, as best we can tell.  A segment (31 cm long) encircling the spinal column three times was removed. Dolphin is doing well following surgery and is already eating again.

2/7 Eating well today and swimming better than before surgery.

2/8 Using its tail more today than before and playing more, as well.

2/9 Exam this morning went very well.  Thermography indicated the abscesses are responding well to treatment.  Surgical site is beginning to heal as well.  Dolphin continues to swim well and eat very well.

2/13 Exam this morning went very well.  Wounds and surgical site look great.

2/15 Dolphin continues to improve.  Swimming better every day.

2/17 Continuing to do well.

2/19 Exam this morning went well.  Dolphin is stronger every time we have to deal with her.

2/21 Dolphin is continuing to do very well and is eating very well.

2/24 Dolphin continues to do well.

2/26 Dolphin's white count is now going up a little, so we have changed antibiotics.  In addition there appear to be some mild viral lesions developing on the skin, so a skin scraping was collected and is being analyzed.  Dolphin continues to eat well and is gaining weight.

2/28 Exam this morning indicated white count has gone down significantly and other blood values are nearly normal.

3/1 Dolphin is much more active today, therefore must be feeling much better.  New antibiotic seems to be working very well.

3/4 Continuing to do very well.

3/8 Very playful with toys.  May be stopping all medications in the next couple of days.

3/11 Have terminated all medications and continues to do very well.

3/15 Still doing very well.  May be on track for release later this month.

3/21 Continuing to do very well.  Planning to apply for release later this month.

3/27 Dolphin has passed her final examination in preparation for release.

3/28 Dolphin was released this morning in Sarasota Bay (see photo below).  Release went very well.  This dolphin will be monitored very closely over the next days/weeks/months/years by the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program.

3/29 Dolphin was located today in North Sarasota Bay doing well.

3/30 Dolphin was located today near the release site, still doing well.

4/1 Dolphin was spotted within one mile of the release site today doing well and feeding on live fish.

4/5 Dolphin has been relocated almost every day since release with most locations in the general area of the release.  Dolphin seems to be doing very well.

4/9 Dolphin was located today south of Stickney Point, swimming alone, but appeared to be doing well.

4/16 Dolphin is still being tracked and seems to be doing very well.

4/20 Dolphin was located this morning just south of Stickney Point doing well.

4/27 Staff from Sarasota Dolphin Research Program spotted the dolphin with a 5-yr-old female bottlenose dolphin, engaged in activities that likely involved feeding.  This is the first time she has been observed with other animals.  Her body condition remains good. 


Mote staff and volunteers releasing Filly in Sarasota Bay.

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