A juvenile bottlenose dolphin has been flown to the Florida Keys for permanent sanctuary after spending nine months healing at a Texas-based marine rehabilitation center.
The orphaned male calf, named "Ranger," arrived Friday at the Florida Keys-based Dolphin Research Center. He was rescued in June 2021 after being discovered stranded in waters around Goose Island State Park in Texas suffering from an underlying respiratory infection and dehydration.
He was found near his dead mother and was transported to the Texas State Aquarium Wildlife Rescue Center. The National Marine Fisheries Service determined the dolphin could not survive in the wild and chose the Dolphin Research Center to care for the marine mammal for the rest of his life.
Linda Erb, the vice president of Dolphin Research Center said, “We provide sanctuary for any dolphins in need of a forever home." She said, “Often times when a dolphin like this is found at such a young age, he has not learned the skills to catch his own fish.”
Sarah Zigmond, operations coordinator for Texas State Aquarium, who was in Florida to greet Ranger for the arrival said, “I’ve been with Ranger since his rescue and so to see the culmination of his entire rescue and rehabilitation come to fruition in his new forever home made me quite emotional, but it was all happy emotions.”