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Members of Embassy Blue Institute were contacted by Clearwater Marine Aquarium to assist with the care and rehabilitation of a stranded dolphin calf that was rescued December 11, 2010.
Hubbs Sea World Research Institute received the initial call that a dolphin calf had been found in the Indian River Lagoon on the East Coast of Florida. Staff from Hubbs located the calf, where she was found attempting to nurse from her mother who had passed away. The dolphin was evaluated on-site, and in coordination with National Marine Fisheries Service, it was determined that she would be transported to Clearwater Marine Aquarium for rehabilitation. Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute arranged the transportation and transfer.
The female calf was estimated at 2 to 3 months of age at the time of her rescue. The calf had suffered trauma and her condition was fragile when she arrived at the aquarium; but due to the expertise provided by Embassy Blue Institute and Ocean Embassy, a team of dedicated volunteers and around the clock care, she is now thriving.
A special neonatal formula was developed by the EBI team and the calf was fed every 2 hours; 24 hours a day. In the first two months of care she gained appoximately 17 pounds and grew over 26 centimeters in length. This was an average growth of .28 lbs/day and .44 cm/day!
The calf remains bottle feeding, and is learning a variety of important husbandry behaviors that will be vital for her long term care.