Watch as SeaWorld Orlando rescues and rehabilitates bottlenose dolphin

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SeaWorld Orlando announced the rescue and rehabilitation of an injured 26-year-old bottlenose dolphin on Thursday, but cannot release him into the wild. The adult male dolphin was rescued from the Florida Keys in July of last year, where he was found stranded in shallow water with pneumonia and significant weight loss.

Since his rescue last year by the Dolphin Plus Marine Mammal Responder unit, and transportation to SeaWorld Orlando's rehabilitation center, the dolphin was granted release back into the ocean by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Association. As the process to release him into the wild began, SeaWorld veterinarians found a new infection, a condition that only SeaWorld and a few other facilities around the world can detect.

"We are very pleased with this dolphin's healthy recovery given the state upon which he arrived," said Jon Peterson, vice president of zoological operations for SeaWorld Orlando, which team cared for the dolphin during rehabilitation. "This story has been a true collaboration and we are thankful to have worked closely with many dedicated partners."
Bottlenose dolphin at SeaWorld swimming in a tank after being rescued and rehabilitated. - PHOTO COURTESY SEAWORLD
  • Photo courtesy SeaWorld
  • Bottlenose dolphin at SeaWorld swimming in a tank after being rescued and rehabilitated.
SeaWorld says their goal has always been to release any rescued animals back into the wild safely, which includes a painless dorsal marking for identification as a previous rescue. After the detection of this dolphin's infection, and following hearing assessments conducted by NOAA, it was determined that this dolphin couldn't be released.

Instead, he will be transported to Clearwater Marine Aquarium where he will be cared for alongside other Atlantic male bottlenose dolphins and Winter the dolphin, who is famous for starring in the Dolphin Tale movie franchise.



SeaWorld Orlando, which has been closed to visitors since March 16, has presented plans to reopen on June 11 and was granted approval by Gov. Ron DeSantis. Once open, SeaWorld will require guests to wear face coverings and undergo temperature checks upon entering the park.

Check out video of the dolphin below.
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