Featured Image Credit: Sgt. David Smith
By: Sarah Sharkey
After Hurricane Irma, humans were not the only ones left struggling. Intense offshore conditions and extremely high tides left many animals in battered condition. One of these animals was a female porpoise that was stranded in Sugarloaf Key.
A concerned citizen was making repairs to their home when they spotted an animal stranded in the mangroves. They called the police and help was quickly on the way. The Monroe County Sheriff’s office and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers responded to the call and requested the help of Doug Mader and Brandon Paquin.
Brandon Paquin is famous for his part in the rescue of a dolphin named Winter (featured in the moved “Dolphin Tale.” Doug Mader is a veterinarian at the Marathon Veterinary Hospital. So it is safe to say this mammal was in good hands.
Mader quickly determined that the animal was actually a female porpoise, not a dolphin. Porpoises have triangular fins as opposed to hooked or curved dorsal fins like dolphins. According to the police department, “She had not been stranded too long because she only had minor sunburn visible on her skin.”
Luckily the team was able to get her back into the water quickly by just wading her out into deeper waters. The experts think that she was washed in by the extremely high tides, but believe she will be okay.
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