Rehabilitated dolphin leaves quarantine at Marathon facility

Juvenile bottlenose dolphin taken in after mother’s death

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Associated Press

In this photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau, Linda Erb, vice president of animal care and training at Dolphin Research Center, feeds Ranger, a juvenile bottlenose dolphin, Thursday, May 12, 2022, in Marathon, Fla. The male was flown March 25, to the Florida Keys from the Texas State Aquarium Wildlife Rescue Center after being rescued in June 2021 from Goose Island State Park in Texas, suffering from a respiratory infection and dehydration following his mother's death. Because the dolphin can't be released, National Marine Fisheries Service chose DRC to be his forever home. (Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau via AP)

MARATHON, Fla. – A rescued juvenile bottlenose dolphin flown from Texas to a Florida Keys research center seven weeks ago has been moved to the facility’s primary dolphin lagoon.

Thursday’s transfer marks the male marine mammal’s final integration into a “forever family” of other permanent dolphin residents.

Ranger convalesced in a medical quarantine pool specially designed to increase his eating and weight, while strengthening both his immune system and his bond with human caregivers.

He was rescued a year ago after being discovered stranded in waters around Goose Island State Park in Texas.

When found, he suffered from an underlying respiratory infection and dehydration following his mother’s death.