KEY LARGO (CBS4) – In the shallow waters just off of the upper Florida Keys lay a sick and stranded dolphin Sunday.
The male Risso’s dolphin, emaciated and stranded in shallow water was rescued by marine mammal care specialists just off of Rodriguez Key, a small island off of Key Largo.
The animal is now in stable condition, according to Art Cooper, chairman of the Marine Mammal Conservancy that took the animal in for evaluation and treatment.
The mammal is about eight feet long, has lacerations and is emaciated, but is stable, according to Dr. Bob Stevens, research veterinarian and president of the Marine Mammal Conservancy.
“At this stage we really don’t know fully why he stranded,” Stevens said. “It could be as simple as getting caught in a low tide situation or something very complicated medically.”
After rescuers brought the dolphin to shore, Stevens drew blood from the mammal for further analysis.
“In addition to the blood work, we’ll of course be doing around-the-clock care with people in the water assisting him,” Stevens said.
Although its age is not known at this time, the dolphin is not fully mature, Stevens said.
The marine Mammal Conservancy is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that is committed to protecting marine mammals and their habitat through research, rescue, rehabilitation, release and education, according to their Web site. It is located near Key Largo and is a volunteer-based organization.