28.9.04

Dolphin rescue in wake of hurricane Jeanne



Florida rescue teams responded today to a dolphin found distressed near sandbars north of Anclote Island. The dolphin had been seen swimming circles in the water, obviously stressed. "He has no visible external wounds," said Dr. Janine Cianciolo, Clearwater Marine Aquarium staff veterinarian. "Until we are able to obtain test results, we will not know what we are dealing with."

CMA will keep the dolphin for a 48-hour observation period during which he will be constantly monitored and evaluated. If he survives this initial 48-hour period, the dolphin will be reassessed for the possibility of rehabilitation.

Marine animals like their human counterparts experience stress and dislocation during hurricane events such as those we've seen this season. Several strandings have been observed in coastal areas over the past few days and area rescue facilities, already at full capacity, are strained to manage the need.

Officials at Clearwater Marine Aquarium advise that when people see a dolphin stranded, they should not push it into the water. They should, rather, call the Stranding Hotline and a team will respond. The Stranding Hotline numbers are 727-441-1790, extension 224 or 1-800-DIALFMP (Florida Marine Patrol).

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