Lamda is spotted!
We were so thrilled to read this update from Kelly Sweeting at Dolphin Communication Project that Lamda has been spotted and is doing really well! What fantastic news for the first week of the year!
You may recall, in November we shared this story of Lamda, a male Atlantic Spotted dolphin who was found stranded and in a bad way on a beach far from his home. Thanks to the amazing work by Wild Dolphin Project and Dolphin Communication Project he was rescued and carefully returned to his home off the coast of Bimini.
This is the first sighting since his release thanks to fantastic efforts by our friends Kelly and Al Sweeting.
Last week Kelly and Captain Al headed out on one of their attempts to look for Lamda…
“At 10:47 we were about a mile from #104’s last known location and there! I spotted them. Well, it seemed like bottlenose again, but this time, we were sticking around. Soon, we saw a large (~20) group of Atlantic spotted dolphins – a busy mixed age group (including Romeo (#10), Lil’ Jess (#35) and Sulfur (#102). I scoured the surface for #104’s tagged dorsal fin. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. After 15 minutes, bottlenose cruised through. And one minute later: #104! I had convinced myself that I might not be sure I was seeing the tag, that I’d have to really concentrate in order to not miss it. Ha! As soon as he surfaced next to the boat, it was clear. He was there and he seemed fine.
“He was right there in the mix with this large, mixed species group, but he was simultaneously a bit on his own. Sometimes on the outskirts of the group, he didn’t seem paired up with any of the other dolphins. We never saw him make physical contact with another dolphin (like, for example, rubbing pectoral fins) or surface in synchrony with another; and though he was often closer to the bottlenose, there were no obvious socio-sexual interactions there either.
Then, the icing: could I get a glimpse of him under water? See his whole body? I hoped in and there he was, slowly cruising….away from me. He didn’t turn to interact with me, but at least I saw that he looked robust and had no new external injuries.
“We were able to find #104 again. This time, I had to skip what seemed like an awesome chance to get in close to him because of passing boat (why do I have to share the ocean? :-). When we were lined up again, I slid in – and he stayed! He looked great. If I hadn’t known his history or the reason behind the tag, I would have thought he was just like any other wild Atlantic spotted dolphin in this area. He didn’t give me much time, just two good, albeit quiet, passes and I was psyched! Of course, all things have their downsides: camera fogged! Ugh! I’ll need to look into this; my best guess is that it has to do with the cold water. I’ve only ever used this rig in Bimini’s warm, summer water, so I’ll need to do some querying before the next go. Nonetheless, I’m thrilled to be able to report to you and the rest of the Lamda team that he’s alive and well.”
Thank you to Kelly and Al Sweeting for this amazing update.
Come and join us at WildQuest this summer and you’ll hopefully get to spot Lamda out on the dolphin grounds!