Dolphin cared for at Coastal Studies Lab dies suddenly Jan. 6 at Galveston facility
Posted: 01/09/2012
Share |

The young male dolphin found stranded at South Padre Island (SPI) Dec. 21 and taken in and cared for initially by The University of Texas-Pan American's Coastal Studies Lab (CSL) has died.

UTPA Coastal Studies Lab staff members Brigette Goza and Les Sweeten are pictured supporting Bo Jingles in the lab's tank during the first day the stranded juvenile bottlenose dolphin was brought there after being found Dec. 21 on the beach at South Padre Island. Despite great efforts to save him, Bo subsequently died Jan. 6 at the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network's facility in Galveston.
The bottle-nosed dolphin, affectionately named Bo Jingles, succumbed suddenly Friday, Jan. 6 at the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network (TMMSN)'s facility in Galveston.

"He was battling pneumonia and possibly other infections which made him more susceptible to attack by sharks. A necropsy will be performed to help better determine in what ways his health was compromised that led to his stranding," said Brigette Goza, research assistant and coordinator of educational outreach programs

When fishermen first found Bo Jingles near a beach access on SPI, he had numerous shark bites and was weak but still breathing. He was brought to the CSL where he was first examined by a veterinarian and given fluids and antibiotics. CSL staff and community volunteers provided round the clock care for the dolphin in a tank prepared for him there. Bo needed support from two people in order to help him swim.

Bo, still in guarded condition, was transferred Dec. 22 to the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi, which can better accommodate large marine mammals. On Dec. 30 he was transported to the TMMSN's facility, where he continued to be evaluated and given medications. Unable to digest food, he was being fed fluids and ground fish through a tube every two to four hours. TMMSN volunteers rescue and rehabilitate marine mammals that strand along the Texas Coast, providing food, medical treatment and 24-hour-a-day observation. Since 1980, the TMMSN has rescued hundreds of stranded marine mammals.

Goza said the support of volunteers was invaluable in providing care for Bo.

"The Coastal Studies Lab and the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network would like to thank the many volunteers who came out to the island to help with Bo Jingles. We appreciate that this stranding occurred during a busy holiday time, so a big thank you goes out to those who were able to assist with the dolphin's care during his time at the lab. We couldn't have done it without their help," Goza said.

Learn more about the TMMSN here. For more information about the CSL, go to the CSL website.