July 07--CLEARWATER -- A baby dolphin found stranded on Redington Beach during the holiday weekend is receiving medical care at Clearwater Marine Aquarium, officials there said Monday.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and aquarium employees rescued the 4-foot-long Atlantic Spotted dolphin after beachgoers noticed it on the shore July 4. The calf was weak and malnourished and could not swim on its own when it arrived at the aquarium, according to a release from the aquarium.
After 48 hours of "round the clock" medical care and fluids, the animal became more alert and could swim on its own in small spurts. The dolphin is believed to have been without her mother for about one week based on its weight.
"The medical team is pleased with the progress thus far, but there are several unknowns as we continue rehabilitation and treatment," David Yates, CEO of the aquarium said in a written release. "We are monitoring the animal 24/7 because she is still in critical condition. We are supporting her while she is swimming and monitoring her with a team of dedicated staff and volunteers. We want to thank the bystanders who reported the stranding to FWC for taking appropriate action, as stranded marine life are generally ill or injured and need immediate medical attention.
(c)2014 the Tampa Tribune (Tampa, Fla.)
Visit the Tampa Tribune (Tampa, Fla.) at www.tampatrib.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services