All Eight Dolphins Rescued

Posted on September 21, 2005

Happy dolphin news: all eight dolphins have been now been rescued from the ocean and taken to a naval engineering base where they are being treated for injuries and starvation.

Led by a marine biologist who specializes in dolphins, a rescue team had rescued four of the dolphins by Friday. But when they went back on Saturday, they couldn't find the rest of the group. They searched by plane and boat, and finally found them Tuesday -- they were swimming towards land, apparently tired of waiting for the humans to get their act together and bring everyone home.
[W]hen rescuers returned on the fourth day, the remaining four dolphins had left the area. NOAA couldn't move all the dolphins at once because they had limited equipment and only one pool to put them in.

"This area is so damaged," Foster said. "There's not many swimming pools, not many holding areas ... so what we did was take the most compromised animals and move them to the Holiday Inn (swimming pool)."

When the last four of the dolphins were located on Tuesday, they were in the channels in front of the Beau Rivage Casino. All of the dolphins have since been reunited and are on their way to recovery.

"We're all just thrilled that the dolphins are now safe and sound," said NOAA Fisheries Service biologist Laura Engleby. "Certainly we were really concerned about the challenges they were faced with out there. We were so excited to see that they were all together. This has just been a huge success."
The veterinarian said some were 100 pounds underweight and had deep lacerations, which are being treated. The group of dolphins had never been in the same pool before, but formed a pod during the disaster when they were swept out of their Gulfport, Mississipi Oceanarium home pools by the storm surge. Now the owner says he'd like to keep them all together since it appears they've formed a family unit.

But dolphins are expensive to keep. Let's hope that they recover fully, and that Sea World or some canny corporate donor buys or sponsors the entire group.