Featured Image Credit: wjhg.com
Samira the one-year-old bottlenose dolphin is recovering well after being found beached in the Florida Panhandle. Members of the public reported the young cetacean and the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge sent technicians to rescue her. Samira was checked in to Gulf World for rehabilitation.
So far, Samira seems to be doing just fine. She’s eating, swimming, and interacting with enrichment activities the way she should. Gulf World staff are double checking her for morbilli virus, a deadly disease that affects many different types of mammals. It can cause brain, immune system, and lung failure in cetaceans like bottlenose dolphins.
Hurricane Nate made landfall just a three hour drive away from where Samira was found. The storm entered the Gulf just one month after Irma made multiple landfalls in Florida. Both hurricanes brought strong winds, waves, and storm surges that altered western Gulf of Mexico habitats. These storms likely separated Samira from her mom and carried her all the way up to the dune system, yards away from the normal high tide line.
Because Samira is passing all of her medical checks, Marine Mammal Stranding Coordinator Shelby Proie is confident that the young dolphin became exhausted after trying to fight Hurricane Nate’s ripping currents to stick with her mom. The Emerald Coast team reported that the post-Nate waves were still too high to check for any potential pod members searching for Samira.
Hopefully Samira’s speedy recovery will lead to an equally speedy release! To learn more about Samira and to adopt her, visit the Gulf World Marine Institute website.