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Coastal Studies Lab housing stranded dolphin found Dec. 21
Posted: 12/21/2011
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Update Jan. 3, 2012: During his stay at the Texas State Aquarium Sea Lab Facility in Corpus Christi, the dolphin, now dubbed "Bo Jingles," underwent additional evaluation. He was still not swimming on his own, but went from needing the support of only one person in the water instead of two. He also opened his eyes and ate once on his own. He remained in guarded condition. On Dec. 30, Bo was transported to the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network's (TMMSN) facility in Galveston. According to the Coastal Studies Lab (CSL), who has been in contact with the TMMSN, he did well on the trip to Galveston but is still lethargic and not swimming on his own. Pain medications and antibiotics are being administered. He has been unable to digest food on his own, so he is being fed fluids and ground fish through a tube every 2 to 4 hours. The shark bites are substantial. An endoscope and ultrasound did not reveal anything unusual. Results from lab cultures are pending. Current photos and updates on Bo are available at the TMMSN website.

The CSL staff regards the support of the Isla Blanca Park personnel in providing 24-hour access to the park and the care provided by community volunteers during his stay there as critical in Bo's initial stabilization.

Update Dec. 22: Staff from The University of Texas-Pan American Coastal Studies Lab has reported the dolphin has been transferred to the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi.

The University of Texas-Pan American Coastal Studies Lab (CSL) is frantically trying to save a young dolphin that was found on the beach at South Padre Island (SPI) this morning Dec. 21.

Dr. Tom deMaar, Gladys Porter Zoo senior veterinarian, examines a juvenile bottlenose dolphin found on South Padre Island Dec. 21 as staff from The University of Texas-Pan American's Coastal Studies Lab (CSL) hold the creature. The CSL along with Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network volunteers are caring for the animal, which was in guarded condition.
Fishermen found the 7-foot long juvenile male bottlenose dolphin stranded near the Beach Access Area 6. The dolphin had superficial bite marks, possibly from a shark, and was weak but still breathing. The dolphin was taken to the CSL located in Isla Blanca Park at SPI where it was put in a tank prepared for it in the lab's enclosed courtyard.

Gladys Porter Zoo Senior Veterinarian Dr. Tom deMaar examined the dolphin, took blood, its heart rate and temperature. The dolphin was given fluids and antibiotics. It was determined to be in guarded condition, requiring constant observation. More information will be available once the blood is analyzed, said Brigette Goza, research assistant I at the lab.

The dolphin will be monitored by Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network volunteers. The Network rescues and rehabilitates marine mammals that strand along the Texas Coast, providing food, medical treatment and 24-hour-a-day observation. Monitoring requires two people in the tank at the same time to support the dolphin and help him swim.

The lab is looking for volunteers, ages 18 and older, to help monitor the dolphin. It is preferred that they are trained and have their own wet suit and mask but it is not required. The lab requests that potential volunteers call the lab first to inquire how they can assist.

Goza said they are looking to move the dolphin to a bigger facility that can better accommodate a large marine mammal.

Contact Goza at (956) 761-2644 or gozabm@utpa.edu.