Florida Keys

Five dolphins found stranded off Islamorada in Florida Keys

Staff of the Dolphins Plus Marine Mammal Responder team transport four spinner dolphins that were rescued Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016, after stranding off a small island about 20 miles north of Islamorada in Florida Bay off the Florida Keys. Normally a deepwater species, a DPMMC official believes it is possible that Hurricane Hermine, when it was over the Gulf of Mexico, could have pushed the dolphins to shallow waters. The dolphins are being evaluated for possible transport to Sea World in Orlando for further treatment.
Staff of the Dolphins Plus Marine Mammal Responder team transport four spinner dolphins that were rescued Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016, after stranding off a small island about 20 miles north of Islamorada in Florida Bay off the Florida Keys. Normally a deepwater species, a DPMMC official believes it is possible that Hurricane Hermine, when it was over the Gulf of Mexico, could have pushed the dolphins to shallow waters. The dolphins are being evaluated for possible transport to Sea World in Orlando for further treatment.

Five stranded dolphins were recovered in Florida Bay, and marine mammal rescue officials think they may have been pushed into shallow waters by Hurricane Hermine.

Four of the spinner dolphins were found Saturday 20 miles north of Islamorada on the flats near Rabbit Key, said Art Cooper with the Key Largo-based Dolphins Plus Marine Mammal Response Team. A fifth was found a short distance off Lower Matecumbe Key.

Three of the dolphins were so dehydrated and had such elevated heart rates that federal wildlife officials determined they had to be euthanized, Cooper said.

The recovered dolphins were taken to Dolphins Plus in Key Largo. Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution scientists evaluated the two other dolphins and had them transported to SeaWorld in Orlando for further treatment.

“All received subcutaneous fluids and had blood taken for veterinary evaluation,” Cooper said.

Cooper said Dolphins Plus received reports of more stranded dolphins.

Marine mammal rescuers requested that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission conduct an aerial survey Sunday morning to try finding the other reported stranded dolphins.

David Goodhue: 305-440-3204

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