SARASOTA -- Mote’s emergency medical team has succeeded in stabilizing the melon-headed whale being treated at Mote Marine Laboratory’s Dolphin and Whale Hospital following its stranding on Manasota Key, according to a Mote press release.
Mote staff and volunteers provided medical care and support for the whale during the most critical time period following its Oct. 23 stranding. The whale, nicknamed Dante by Mote staff, received around-the-clock medical care at Mote, which stabilized its condition and allowed veterinarians to begin treating the animal for pneumonia and gastroenteritis.
Now that the animal is stabilized — and with the approval of the federal agency that oversees the care and protection of marine mammals — Dante is being transferred to SeaWorld Orlando, which has larger facilities required to support Dante’s need for longer-term rehabilitation.
“We are glad that Mote’s critical-care facilities were available to treat this gravely ill animal,” said Dr. John Reynolds, director of Mote’s Center for Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Research. “Dante has a long road of rehabilitation ahead. It is great that Mote can continue to play a role as part of a regional network to offer experienced and effective assistance for sick or injured whales, dolphins and sea turtles. The Mote hospital staff, and indeed everyone at Mote, wishes Dante a speedy return to health.”
There is no health insurance for sick marine animals and government agencies simply are not able to provide appropriate funding to maintain the necessary facilities.
Donations from the community, therefore, play a vital role in supporting Mote’s animal hospitals.
“Mote will be unable to treat sick or injured marine mammals and sea turtles without the support of the community,” Reynolds said. “We have appreciated the past support from individuals and groups who care about the humane treatment, rehabilitation and, in some cases, the release back to the wild of distressed animals. We hope to secure additional support from the community to allow us to continue to operate as we have in the past.”
The role of Mote’s animal hospitals is to provide the most humane treatment possible for sick and injured dolphins, whales and sea turtles. Mote has been treating sick dolphins and whales since 1992.
Donations to Mote’s animal hospitals support everything we need to help marine animals recover. Donations pay for everything from the medicine that sick animals need to the electricity that keeps the filters in their medical pools running.
To make a donation to Mote’s Dolphin and Whale Hospital:
By phone: Call Barbara Meyer at 941-388-4441, ext. 309
By mail: Please make checks payable to Mote Marine Laboratory and write “Dolphin and Whale Hospital” in the memo line. Mail to Mote Marine Laboratory, Attention: Development Office, 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, FL 34236.