A rescued dolphin that was airlifted from Texas to the Florida Keys was thriving and playing with other dolphins, according to the Dolphin Research Center in Marathon, Florida.
In a statement sent to Storyful, the research center said the orphaned male calf named Ranger was rescued in June 2021, after being discovered stranded in waters in Texas, suffering from an underlying respiratory infection and dehydration.
“Found near his dead mother, the dolphin was taken to the Texas State Aquarium Wildlife Rescue Center for care.
“At just two years old, he was deemed too young to forage and survive in the wild, and the National Marine Fisheries Service selected the Dolphin Research Center as his permanent home.”
Linda Erb, the center’s vice president of animal care and training said “dolphins are very social; they live in a family, they depend on that family even to learn how to catch fish.”
“Without a mom, without a family, this little guy would have starved — he would not have known how to be a wild dolphin,” she added.
Erb said that her team’s primary goal was to make sure that Ranger, now about three years old, learned to socialize with other dolphins in a natural lagoon.
“Now, he is fully adapted into the family… He has surrogate moms that help take care of him, he has buddies that he plays with.”
Credit: Florida Keys News Bureau via Storyful