|Date Stranded||October 31, 2018|
|Location of Stranding||St. Petersburg, Florida|
|Date of Arrival||October 31, 2018|
|Number of Days of Care||90 days|
Salem was released into the Gulf of Mexico on Jan. 28, 2019. Read more about the release here.
Learn more about Salem's journey here:
Dr. Randall Wells, Director of Chicago Zoological Society's Sarasota Dolphin Research Program, provides on update on Salem's location on Feb. 4, 2019:
Tag and tracking services provided by NOAA's John H. Prescott Marine Mammal Rescue Assistance Grant #*NA15NMF4390026
Oct. 31 - Nov. 1, 2018
Salem has shown some signs of improvement since she arrived on Oct. 31. She has been swimming on her own, eating all fish offered, and has shown some improvement in her bloodwork, thanks to excellent care from Mote's team. She is also interacting with environmental enrichment devices, which are special toys designed to provide healthy mental and physical stimulation.
However, Salem is not “out of the woods.” Caregivers continue working to help the dolphin gain weight and fight an infection. An ultrasound revealed a concerning area in her heart, which caregivers will continue to monitor and investigate. Meanwhile, test results continue to rule out possible causes of her stranding. So far, test results suggest that her stranding was NOT likely due to Florida red tide brevetoxins nor the bacterial disease brucellosis that can occur in bottlenose dolphins. Salem's outcome is still relatively far from being determined, but we are glad to see she has made some progress in our care.
We are immensely thankful to all those who support our hospital care with a donation. If you want to help, visit mote.org/donate and choose the designation "Marine animal rescue and rehabilitation” from the drop-down menu.
Salem's condition continues to improve, and she's swimming in higher water and showing plenty of interaction with her environmental enrichment devices (EEDs). She is off antibiotics as of Saturday, Nov. 24. Diagnostic tests continue to rule out possible causes of her stranding. The next test being scheduled is a hearing test.
Caregivers weighed Salem and found that she is 319 pounds (145 kilograms). She recently gained 22 pounds (10 kilograms) over 13 days – a positive sign that care and feeding are helping.
Support Mote's animal hospitals:
Critical care for just one dolphin costs thousands of dollars per day. At the same time, the Lab as a whole is responding to multiple ecological challenges, including the impacts of an ongoing Florida red tide bloom. While emergency government aid has helped with parts of our response efforts, it cannot close the gap facing Mote as a nonprofit. Community support can make all the difference: Please visit mote.org/donate and choose "Marine animal rescue and rehabilitation" from the drop-down menu.
Salem's rescue illustrates an important lesson for stranded animal response. FWC staff said that members of the public tried to push the dolphin back out to sea and then she re-stranded. It's important that the public never push a stranded marine animal back, but instead, report strandings immediately to trained wildlife responders.
If you see a distressed or dead sea turtle, manatee, dolphin or whale in Sarasota or Manatee counties, Florida, contact Mote's Stranding Investigations Program, a 24-hour response program, at 888-345-2335. Be ready to provide a thorough description of what the animal looks like, and of any behaviors it is showing. Take photos and video if possible.
For distressed or dead manatees, dolphins, whales and sea turtles anywhere else in Florida, call FWC's Wildlife Alert Hotline: 888-404-3922.
Anywhere in the southeastern U.S., you can call (877) WHALE-HELP (877-942-5343) to be connected to your local Marine Mammal Stranding Network organization.