A young dolphin stranded on Grand Isle Beach has been rescued and is currently undergoing rehabilitation, it has recently been reported.
On Monday morning, a local fisherman found the aquatic mammal washed up off the barrier island located in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. The man stayed with the animal, until authorities arrives at the scene.
The rescue of the juvenile dolphin was a joint effort of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Audubon Nature Institute.
According to estimations made by marine biologists, the dolphin measures about 6 and a half feet in length, and is around 2 years old. It is believed that it was separated from its pod, and brought up to the shore following severe weather conditions associated with Hurricane Patricia.
In the initial stages, the researchers attempted to release the stranded mammal back into the water, declared Gabriella Vasquez, Audubon Institute’s stranding and rescue coordinator.
However, such measures were in vain, because the dolphin appeared overly weak and lethargic, and displayed no willingness to swim into the Gulf of Mexico.
Therefore, as the Audubon Nature Institute has revealed in a press release, the dolphin had to be transported to the Audubon Aquatic Center, in New Orleans, for further evaluations and medical treatment.
Once the rescued animal arrived at the clinic, a more thorough examination was performed, by Audubon veterinarians.
It was discovered that the dolphin did it fact possess enough strength to move across the waves on its own, since it was capable of swimming in a tank at the aquatic center.
It remains a mystery for now why it failed to do so at the beach, and as a result further tests and observations are being conducted to identify a potential cause for its behavior.
Based on these evaluations, a prognosis will be established, and the dolphin might have to undergo a period of rehabilitation.
So far, its evolution is promising, since the young animal is now capable to feed on its own and preliminary test results have only shown some inflammation possibly caused by stress. However, steady efforts are still underway to ensure its survival and recovery.
“We’re monitoring this guy 24 hours a day (…) We haven’t been home in about three or four days, so we’re staying here watching this animal constantly making sure he’s going to make it”, declared veterinarian Dr. Tres Clarke.
Meanwhile, Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham is urging the public to continue to report stranded marine animal sightings.
As he explained, being informed as quickly as possible about such incidents allows authorities to rescue, rehabilitate and return back into the wild numerous sea turtles and aquatic mammals, on a yearly basis.
Image Source: Dolphin Rescue