Monday, December 22, 2008

Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium Saves a dolphin

On Dec. 16, Mote staff received a call about a stranded dolphin on Siesta Beach. The young dolphin was helped by beachgoers until Mote staff could arrive to evaluate the situation and determine what kind of help the dolphin needed.

After a medical evaluation, the dolphin was brought to Mote's Dolphin and Whale Hospital. It turns out that Mote staff is already familiar with the dolphin - which has been nicknamed "Ginger" in honor of the holiday season.

Ginger is a 3½-year-old female Atlantic bottlenose dolphin known to scientists with the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program, the world's longest-running study of a dolphin population and a collaboration between Mote and the Chicago Zoological Society. Mote has been monitoring the dolphins of Sarasota Bay since 1970. Through these studies, we know that the bay is home to a population of about 160 dolphins that live here year 'round.

Mote staff was able to identify Ginger by the unique nicks on her dorsal fin. She is the first calf born to another dolphin known to the program, a 13-year-old referred to as "F127." Ginger separated from her mother last spring before the birth of a new sibling in June, and has been on her own since. Dolphin Research Program staff have known Ginger's 49-year-old grandmother, a long-term resident of Sarasota Bay, since August 1975.

You can support Mote Marine Laboratory's dolphin rehabilitation efforts by making a donation. Please call 941-388-4441, ext. 309, or logging onto www.mote.org/donate.
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