Rescued dolphin in ‘guarded condition’ in US

Fishermen rescued a 7-foot dolphin found stranded on the beach on South Padre Island on Wednesday with superficial bite marks.

The Atlantic bottlenose dolphin, a juvenile male, was found near Beach Access 6 at 8 a.m. in weak condition. It was taken to the University of Texas-Pan American Coastal Studies Lab in Isla Blanca Park on South Padre Island, where volunteers in wetsuits, plastic gloves and face masks walked it around in a holding tank.

Brigette Goza, a UTPA research assistant, said the volunteers had to keep it near the surface in order to help it breathe.

By Wednesday evening a veterinarian from the Gladys Porter Zoo arrived to evaluate the cetacean.

“The dolphin is in a guarded condition, which means he couldn’t make a full evaluation,” Goza said. “We are waiting for lab work. They took some blood, and we’ll know more tomorrow.”

Volunteers planned to be with the dolphin around the clock to make sure it doesn’t stop breathing.

“We’re doing everything we can to ensure the health of the dolphin and to ensure its best interests,” Goza said.

She said the marks on the dolphin most likely came from a shark.

The dolphin is being monitored by Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network volunteers, which rescues and rehabilitates marine mammals stranded along the Texas Coast, providing food, medical treatment and 24-hour-a-day observation.

Goza said this is the first time in a few years that a dolphin has needed rescuing on South Padre Island.

If the dolphin is moved, Goza said it would possibly go to the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi for care and treatment.

Source:  The Herald, by MARK REAGAN

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