Rescued Dolphin Thriving at Florida Marine Mammal Facility [Video]
What You Need To Know!
- Ranger, a juvenile bottlenose dolphin, was rescued in Texas after being stranded and deemed too young to survive in the wild.
- After being temporarily cared for at the Texas State Aquarium, Ranger was airlifted to the Dolphin Research Center in Florida as his permanent home.
- Now thriving and socializing with other dolphins at the center, Ranger has surrogate moms and buddies to play with.
A year ago, a juvenile bottlenose dolphin named Ranger was rescued in Texas after being found stranded near Goose Island State Park. The calf was suffering from a respiratory infection and dehydration, and was deemed too young to forage and survive in the wild.
After being temporarily cared for at the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi, Ranger was airlifted to the Dolphin Research Center in Grassy Key, Florida, where he has now made his permanent home.
“Dolphins are very social; they live in a family, they depend on that family even to learn how to catch fish,” said Linda Erb, the Dolphin Research Center’s vice president of animal care and training. “Without a mom, without a family, this little guy would have starved — he would not have known how to be a wild dolphin.”
Erb’s team’s primary goal was to ensure that Ranger, now approximately 3 years old, learned to socialize with other dolphins in a natural lagoon at the center after his release from a necessary five-week quarantine in a medical pool.
According to Erb, Ranger has fully adapted to his new home and has surrogate moms to help take care of him. “He has buddies that he plays with,” she added.
The National Marine Fisheries Service selected the Dolphin Research Center as Ranger’s permanent home, as the center’s team is focused on ensuring Ranger is able to thrive and interact with other dolphins.