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“Salem” – wild and free again!

We’re thrilled to share another heart-warming story of dolphin rescue and rehabilitation. “Salem”, an adult female bottlenose dolphin was found stranded and injured near the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in October last year, and was rescued by staff from Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. In a critical condition, she was transported to Janes Refuge: The Hospital for Dolphins and Whales at Mote Marine Laboratory where she received around-the-clock care that supported her recovery from a number of injuries and conditions.

Amazing to hear that as part of her care, Salem was given “environmental enrichment devices,” toys designed to provide healthy mental and physical stimulation while she built up her strength to return to the wild. 

In December, she passed the required hearing test, a necessary test as dolphins need their hearing to hunt, navigate and socialize. Continuing to improve and build up strength, in late January, federal wildlife officials with NOAA Fisheries declared Salem was fit for release. 

Thanks to the amazing work of the team of staff, caregivers and hardworking volunteers, Salem was able to be released back into the wild on January 28.

Lynne Byrd, Medical Care and Rehabilitation Coordinator said: ”The release was awesome. We observed her within the first minute she was in the water, and we saw her several more times in the next 15 minutes. We also saw other dolphins out there.”

We’re so grateful to the amazing teams behind this work to rescue and rehabilitate marine animals that are found in trouble. Read more about the rescue and how to donate to Mote Marine Laboratory, an independent, nonprofit marine science institution.

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