SeaWorld San Diego returned the rehabilitated, long-beaked common dolphin to the ocean having given the marine mammal a second chance at life. It was first spotted in an estuary of the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge on Thursday, December 10th.
SeaWorld’s Animal Rescue Team and the Imperial Beach lifeguards were able to guide the adult male dolphin to deeper water in the estuary, and it was hoped the animal would swim to open water in San Diego Bay and ultimately back to the ocean. While the dolphin was free swimming over the next 48 hours, he never left the estuary.
By Saturday, December 12th he became so severely stuck in the mud that his life was at risk. SeaWorld’s Rescue Team, with the assistance of the Coronado Police, rescued the dolphin and brought him back to the park’s Oiled Wildlife Care Center where he received round the clock care. SeaWorld veterinarians and animal care specialists assessed the dolphin’s condition, including running bloodwork. Once it was determined that the animal was healthy it was returned to the ocean.
The goal of SeaWorld’s rescue program is to rehabilitate ill, injured and stranded animals and return them to the wild. So far in 2015, SeaWorld San Diego has come to the aid of more than 1,300 marine animals, including mammals, turtles and sea birds.