Atlantic bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)

(MML 0605)

Age Class Adult
Gender Female
Date Stranded February 11, 2006
Location of Stranding Oldsmar, Florida
Date of Arrival February 11, 2006
Number of Days of Care 102 days

Final Disposition

Released May 23, 2006 off Courtney Campbell Causeway, Safety Harbor


Dolphin on arrival

2/12 Dolphin was found aground on a mud flat near Oldsmar, Florida.  It was rescued by staff from Clearwater Marine Aquarium and brought to the Dolphin and Whale Hospital.  The dolphin is covered in abscesses, is dehydrated, and very emaciated.  It has been started on fluids and antibiotics.  It began to swim on its own after about 2 hours.

2/13 Dolphin swam all night on its own.  Administered more fluids and antibiotics this morning and collected blood again.

2/15 Dolphin is now eating well and its white count is coming down.  Took biopsies this morning for diagnostic purposes.

2/16 Appetite is excellent and is now interactive with enrichment devices (aka "toys").

2/18 Dolphin continues to do well.  Has a heavy parasite load from blowhole (in sinuses), but is being treated.

2/19 Seems to be better each day.  Will do gastroscopy tomorrow morning.

2/20 Gastroscopy indicated lesions in the dolphin's throat, but none in the stomach.  Still eating very well and abscesses are healing well.

2/22 Dolphin is continuing to do very well.  Blowhole has cleared dramatically.

2/24 Exam this morning indicated white count is now normal and dolphin is gaining weight.

2/26 Dolphin continues to do very well.

3/1 Dolphin is doing very well.  Biopsies indicated evidence of bacterial, fungal, and viral involvement, but not clear what is primary.  Abscesses are continuing to heal well.

3/5 Dolphin continues to do very well.

3/12 Abscesses are almost healed and dolphin is gaining a lot of weight.

3/22 Dolphin is continuing to do very well.

3/29 Dolphin is back on antibiotics for mild intestinal infection, but doing very well otherwise.

4/5 Dolphin continues to eat well and is very active.

4/11 Dolphin continues doing very well.

4/17 We are preparing to submit paperwork for release of the dolphin in about one month.  Everything is looking good at this point.

4/24 Paperwork has been submitted for release in mid-May.  Continuing to do very well.

5/2 Other than a little constipation, dolphin is doing very well.

5/12 Constipation is completely gone and dolphin is doing very well.  Planning on release by the end of the month.

5/21 Dolphin has been cleared for release this week.

5/23 Dolphin was released this morning from the north side of the Courtney Campbell Causeway near Safety Harbor.  Dolphin swam away quickly and soon joined up with two other dolphins and stayed in the area north of the Causeway until the tracking was aborted due to rain.  Will recheck her tomorrow.

5/24 Dolphin was found today by staff from Mote's Center for Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Research (CMMSTR) Sarasota Dolphin Research Program (SDRP) between the Courtney Campbell Causeway and the Howard Franklin Bridge with a group of four other dolphins.  They appeared to be heading south toward the center of Tampa Bay (See map below).

5/25 Brain Balmer of SDRP reports that dolphin is back north of the Courtney Campbell Causeway today with no evidence of abnormal behavior.  See photo below of this dolphin with radio transmitter with another dolphin.  Next tracking will be May 30.

5/30 Dolphin was spotted today south of the Courtney Campbell Causeway with other dolphins (updated map below). For the first few days, dolphin swam with a tilt to the left as she did in the critical care tank from swimming in circles for 3 months, but today she was finally completely upright.

6/2 Dolphin was located today just north of the Gandy Bridge and was diving for 2-3 minutes per dive (see map below).  This is the southernmost that the dolphin has been located since its release.  Seems to be doing very well.

6/5 Dolphin was found today still north of the Gandy bridge, with three other dolphins, but most importantly, it was observed chasing and feeding on fish.  Behavior appears normal.

6/21 Dolphin was tracked from land yesterday and found in the area between the Gandy and Howard Franklin Bridges on the east side of the bay (see map).  No visual contact was made.

7/7 The last two attempts to locate dolphin have not found the signal.  Last visual of dolphin indicated tag was getting loose and may have fallen off.  When time and weather permits, we will make a trip by boat to visually search for the dolphin in the area where it has remained since release.


 Val after release in the wild with another dolphin. Photo by SDRP.

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