Thursday, May 10, 2007

HBOI Rescues Young Dolphin

A team from Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution rescued and released a young dolphin Thursday that had been trapped in packing ring so tight it cut down to the animal's ribs. The team found the dolphin Thursday in the Indian River Lagoon. They determined he swam into the 12-inch diameter, rubberized ring when he was a baby. The garbage cut into his skin as he grew.

"I cut it off surgically, cleaned its wound and let it go with its mom," said Dr. Gregory Bossart, a senior scientist and marine mammal veterinarian with Harbor Branch. With just a tinge of anger, Bossart said this should be a lesson to everyone. "The take-home story in this is let's stop throwing our garbage in the Indian River," he said. "Using the Indian River as a garbage can almost cost the life of a dolphin."

Bossart said the dolphin's scar would was massive but he should do just fine. "It's a happy ending to a story that could have been tragic," he said.