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Sunday, November 18, 2018



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Dolphin rescued on Grand Isle doing well

Dolphin rescued on Grand Isle doing well

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The first Louisiana dolphin to be released after rescue is doing well in Barataria Bay, the Audubon Nature Institute says.

The young dolphin stranded on Grand Isle in October, was released in April after blood tests and other exams showed he was healthy.

He was so young that federal and state scientists weren't sure he could survive on his own. So National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists required the state and Audubon to monitor him for six weeks after releasing him.

"It's been six weeks and he is doing everything a dolphin should be doing," Audubon's stranding and rescue coordinator, Gabriella Vazquez, said in a news release Monday. "Results from monitoring appear to show that he is thriving and has a strong chance to survive in the wild."

Biologists used two kinds of transmitter tags to locate the dolphin so they could go out in a boat to watch him at least three times a week and see that he was healthy.

The dolphin, dubbed Octavius after the veterinarian who treated him, was about 6 feet 4 inches long when he stranded. Biologists think he's about 3 years old, but he could be anywhere from 1 to 7 years old, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said.

He was taken from Grand Isle while the remnants of Hurricane Patricia were lashing the coast, half the island was flooded and nearby Port Fourchon was being evacuated. Scientists believe the storm battered and exhausted Octavius.

Audubon spokeswoman Katie Smith said in April that Octavius was the first dolphin rescued off Louisiana to be released after rehabilitation. Some died. A deaf dolphin and some rescued too young to have learned how to survive are now living at other facilities, she said.

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