SeaWorld’s Florida and Texas Rescue Teams Join Forces to Save Entangled DolphinAugust 3, 2016
August 15, 2016
Earlier today, the SeaWorld Orlando Rescue Team – after a 2-day trek across the country – met up with the SeaWorld San Antonio Rescue Team where they both joined forces with The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and members of the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network to help rescue a bottlenose dolphin that was found entangled in fishing gear near South Padre Island in Texas.
The teams spent hours searching for the injured dolphin until finally the dedicated rescue teams retrieved the dolphin and removed more than three pounds of fishing gear that entangled the animal. The teams removed items including hooks, leaders, fishing line and more. The team worked diligently and once the dolphin was detangled, SeaWorld Veterinarians and Animal Care Staff assessed the animal, gave it a complete physical checkup, took blood samples and cultures and gave the dolphin antibiotics for a possible infection due to the entanglement.
After the assessment and onsite care, the animal was released back in to the ocean.
It’s important to note that not every rescue case has a happy ending. Entanglement in fishing gear and similar items can often lead to suffocation or even internal bleeding if hooks and lures are swallowed by the animal. To help prevent harm to wild dolphins and other marine animals, you should always remember to dispose of old line and hooks properly and be mindful of fishing locations where animals are known to surface to breathe, so they do not become caught in cast lines.
In addition to those tips, members of the public can be a big part of the solution by calling the local Marine Mammal Stranding Network when they see a marine animal in need. Be sure to immediately report entangled, injured or dead marine mammals to 1-877-WHALE HELP (1-877-942-5343).
Conserving wild animals and wild places is part of who we are. That mission extends to the thousands of animals SeaWorld rescues each and every year. In fact, the SeaWorld Rescue Team is on call 24/7, 365 days a year to save and care for injured, orphaned or ill animals. In collaboration with the government and other members of accredited stranding networks, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment operates one of the world’s most respected programs to rescue ill and injured marine animals, with the goal to rehabilitate and return to the ocean. SeaWorld animal experts have helped more than 28,000 animals in need - ill, injured, orphaned and abandoned - for more than five decades.