Featured Image Credit: Gulf World Marine Park
By Laura O’Brien
One of the lives affected by Hurricane Nate belongs to a young dolphin named Samira. The one-year-old dolphin appeared to have exhausted herself while fighting powerful rip currents, and eventually washed up onto the shore. Concerned beachgoers called for help, and may have saved Samira’s life. The young dolphin was taken to Gulf World Marine Park, where she has spent the last 3 months receiving care.
Samira was deemed too young to be released back into the wild, in compliance with guidelines established by NOAA. At her age, she would be learning how to hunt by her mother’s side if they had not been separated. Without the ability to learn essential skills like hunting, Samira would die in the wild. Sam Tuno, the spokesperson for Gulf World, said, “our goal is always to release the animal, but in her case, she wouldn’t have survived”. Samira was kept under quarantine during the first part of her stay at Gulf World, but now, it is time for her to meet her fellow dolphins. A dolphin named Soleil was named as a good candidate to become a companion for Samira. Tuno said that “they’ll be like sisters”. Soleil lives with her mother, Angel, and the two dolphins could be Samira’s new family. Tuno said, “it’s amazing to see her have a second chance at life”.
If you see a stranded animal, call your local stranding hotline, or another organization that can help. In Florida, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission can be reached at 1-888-404-3922, and the GWMI stranding line can be reached at 850-258-6968.
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