Individuals associated with the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program spotted “Ginger,” a Sarasota Bay resident bottlenose dolphin rehabilitated at Mote Marine Laboratory, with a newborn calf on July 6.
Ginger was stranded at age 3 in December 2008 on Siesta Beach and was brought to Mote’s Dolphin & Whale Hospital, which is dedicated to rehabilitating and releasing sick and injured dolphins and small whales.
“While Ginger was in our care, trained Mote volunteers spent 1,320 hours monitoring her condition, providing vital information about her progress,” said Lynne Byrd, Medical Care and Rehabilitation Coordinator at Mote. “Ginger ate nearly 4,000 pinfish during her rehabilitation. She was one of the most labor intensive patients that I’ve had the privilege to work with, and it was obviously well worth our effort!”
Ginger recovered and was released in February 2009 wearing a VHF radio transmitter so she could be easily found and visually monitored by SDRP, which has studied Sarasota Bay’s dolphins since 1970.
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“From the time Ginger was released, she has demonstrated her ability to reintegrate into the local, multi-decadal, multi-generational resident dolphin community and engage in normal dolphin activities,” said Dr. Randall Wells, Director of SDRP, who led Mote’s efforts to create the dolphin hospital in the early 1990s.
This is Ginger’s second calf. Ginger had her first calf in summer 2015, but it disappeared within approximately six months. Loss of first-born calves is not unusual, in dolphins or many other mammals.
The Sarasota Dolphin Research Program (SDRP) is a Chicago Zoological Society program in collaboration with Mote.
Red tide update: The Florida red tide organism, Karenia brevis, was found at background concentrations in samples collected off the coast of Pinellas, Manatee and Lee counties during the past week.
Background levels are combined with not present to form the lowest of the five ratings levels on the USF-FWC scale, meaning beach-goers need not be concerned or change their behavior. In addition, only one sample off Manatee County coasts tested positive. That sample was taken northeast of School Key in lower Tampa Bay.
Emerson Point Preserve: Emerson Point Preserve has scheduled a Sunset Dip Net program on Tuesday from 6-8 p.m. The program for those 18-and-older is designed to help participants discover the variety of creatures that live on the shoreline and learn how to identify them. Reservations are required and can be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 941-742-5923 ext. 6036. Participants should bring closed-toe shoes that can get wet and a towel.
National Hunting and Fishing Day: The annual celebration of hunters and anglers features a new twist this year.
Hunters and anglers taking part in National Hunting and Fishing Day can win a Richard Childress Racing VIP race weekend package or the Ultimate Outdoor Experience in America’s conservation capital from Big Cedar Lodge and Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium.
This year’s focus is introducing someone to the outdoors and getting them excited about hunting or fishing. Those who pledge to take someone hunting, target shooting or fishing will be entered for a chance to win the prize packages.
Richard Childress, the NASCAR owner, is serving as this year’s honorary chair for NHF Day.