Hurricane Ida has had a profound impact on both the people and the animals in its storm path. SeaWorld Rescue – in partnership with NOAA Fisheries, Audubon Aquarium’s Coastal Wildlife Network, Institute for Marine Mammal Studies, Dauphin Island Sea Lab and the National Marine Mammal Foundation – has been working hard to rescue displaced animals.
Hurricanes frequently result increased marine mammal stranding. With storm surge and increased water levels associated with hurricanes, it is possible for live marine mammals to become stranded on land or be washed into inland waterways where they are not typically observed, including lakes, canals and levees.
A team of highly trained responders from SeaWorld successfully rescued a juvenile bottlenose dolphin that was found swimming in a small pond (~ 9-11 ft deep), in Slidell, LA. Working together, the team of responders were quickly able to evaluate the animal, confirm it was in good health, safely transport and release it back into the Gulf.
This successful effort was SeaWorld’s 151st dolphin rescue. It’s successful return was due to extensive coordination between all partners, including monitoring the animal daily prior to rescue, sharing information about its behavior, appearance, body condition and any changes to the animal, pond and the surrounding area.