Rescued Dolphin Flourishes in the Florida Keys, One Year Later


Against all odds, a young dolphin, Ranger, airlifted from Texas to Florida Keys last year, has thrived and adapted remarkably well to his new home, as officials reported Monday.

Found stranded near Goose Island State Park, Ranger was suffering from a respiratory infection and dehydration, and considered too young to survive in the wild without his mother. Fortunately, the National Marine Fisheries Service selected the Dolphin Research Center in Grassy Key, Florida, as Ranger’s new home after being temporarily cared for at the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi.

Today, Ranger happily interacts with other dolphins in his permanent home, delighting everyone who encounters him.

“Dolphins are incredibly social animals, they thrive in families, and depend on them even for learning how to catch fish,” explained Linda Erb, Vice President of Animal Care and Training at the Dolphin Research Center. ‘Without a mom, without a family, this little guy would have starved – he would not have known how to be a wild dolphin.’ Erb further shared that their team’s primary focus was to facilitate Ranger’s adaptation to socializing with other dolphins in the natural lagoon at the center following his mandatory 5-week quarantine in a medical pool.

“The Ranger living in our med pool is different from the one that lives here today; he has fully adapted to the family and has surrogate moms who care for him. He also has dolphin buddies with whom he loves playing,” added Erb.


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