A rough-toothed dolphin found beached on the shoreline of Clearwater Beach this summer is settling into his new home at Gulf World Marine Park in Panama City Beach after a nearly 6-month rehabilitation at SeaWorld Orlando’s Rescue Center. The 225-pound dolphin was originally rescued by the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and transported to SeaWorld Orlando for rehabilitative care this past June. Upon arrival at SeaWorld Orlando, the dolphin was extremely weak.
He was placed in a quarantine pool where veterinarians treated him with fluids, nutrition and antibiotics and animal care experts monitored his every breath and physical activity. Since the dolphin was too weak to swim on his own, SeaWorld’s experts walked alongside him in the water, 24 hours a day, until he gained enough strength to swim.
It was initially discovered that he had ingested marine sponge, which caused digestive tract blockages that potentially contributing to his weakened state. But, as the team continued caring for the dolphin, they also requested a hearing test for the animal in an attempt to source the original cause of stranding. The hearing test allowed the experts at SeaWorld and the National Marine Mammal Foundation to prove that the animal had a significant degree of hearing loss, which was likely the root cause for his stranding on Clearwater Beach.
Due to the significant hearing disability, it was ultimately deemed by NOAA that the rescued rough-toothed dolphin would need long-term care at Gulf World by Dolphin Discovery in Panama City Beach, Fl. Gulf World is the only facility in North America to house rough-toothed dolphins in long term human care. Stan, the official name of the newest Gulf World rough-toothed dolphin, is now living alongside 5 other rough-toothed dolphins that were also rescued and deemed non-releasable. “Stan is acclimating well to his new environment and his new companions.” – Secret Holmes-Douglas Zoological Director, Gulf World.
SeaWorld Orlando’s Animal Rescue Team is on call 24/7 to save and care for injured, orphaned or ill animals. In collaboration with the government and other members of accredited stranding networks, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment operates one of the world’s most respected programs to rescue ill and injured marine animals, with the goal to rehabilitate and return to the ocean. SeaWorld animal experts have helped more than 27,000 animals in need - ill, injured, orphaned and abandoned - for more than five decades.
Gulf World Marine Institute operates under the umbrella of Gulf World by Dolphin Discovery as a 501c3 nonprofit and has served as the only long-term marine mammal rehabilitation facility in Northern Florida.
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