Gulf Work Discusses Dolphin Rehabilitation Efforts - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Gulf Work Discusses Dolphin Rehabilitation Efforts

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Efforts to rehabilitate a stranded dolphin have been unsuccessful. The Rough-toothed dolphin succumbed to it's illnesses after being found near the Destin Beach Surf and Racket Club Wednesday morning.

"We started initial treatment with antibiotics and shock therapy for the animal because it was in shock and tried to start rehydrating the animal because it was dehydrated," says Dr. Lydia Staggs, Gulf World Marine Institute's veterinarian.

While doctors did everything in their power, the dolphin's illnesses were too serious, and the dolphin passed away late that night.

"We took over about two hundred samples on this animal today. Just looking at it without seeing any test results, there was a definitely a chronic active pneumonia going on in both of the lungs and an infection in the heart. Those were very serious illnesses," says Dr. Staggs.

While not all rehabilitation efforts are successful, there are five Rough-toothed dolphins at Gulf World who were rehabilitated, deemed non-releasable, but are living healthy, happy lives.

"They were rescued, rehabilitated and deemed non-releasable by National Fisheries Services. They were all stranded for various reasons. Some have impaired hearing loss, or they were too young to be released and they made their home here at Gulf World," says Secret Holmes-Douglas, the director of marine mammals.

While rehabilitation is a lengthy process that takes several experienced staff members and often 24 hour watches, when the effort saves a life, its all worth while.

"Any animal that you rehab is a successful rehabilitation. Whether it stays here at Gulf World or its released back into the wild, it's always is a feel good story makes all the work well worth it," says Douglas.