New Orleans: On October 26, a juvenile male dolphin was rescued after stranding on Grand Isle beach. Working in partnership with Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), The Audubon Institute transported the rescued dolphin to the Audubon Aquatic Center (AAC) in New Orleans.
Since his rescue, the dolphin has been consistently evaluated and treated by a dedicated team and has shown positive progress.
When marine mammals are stranded, the first question is often, “why?” Answers vary, but the animal’s basic senses are always tested for abnormalities such as their vision or hearing, as such an impairment can lead to distress and stranding. Dr. Dorian S. Houser, PhD, Director of Conservation and Biological Research for the National Marine Mammal Foundation recently administered an auditory evoked potential test on the rescued dolphin. This is an extensive auditory test to determine how well an animal can hear, if at all.
Check out the video of Dr. Houser and the animal rescue team as they administer the test and collect data:
Audubon Nature Institute/YouTube
Dr. Houser points out, “It’s important that hearing tests on rehabilitating dolphins and porpoises are performed to ensure they have adequate hearing to support echolocation and communication once they are returned to the wild.”
We’ll continue to bring you updates on this young dolphin here at Zoo Nation as they become available. In the meantime, the dolphin has passed his hearing test, and is receiving a positive outlook on his continuing rehabilitation.
Thanks to the intervention of federal organizations and zoological professionals, this dolphin has been given a second chance at life.