So, last summer I went through both of our Bimini photo-ID catalogs and pulled aside all pictures of injured or clearly scarred dolphins. This pile isn’t tremendously large, but there are 6 or 7 good photographs. Today I finally got the chance to share these with the researchers on South Bimini, at the South Bimini Biological Station, aka Shark Lab. We put our bicycles on the ferry that runs between North & South Bimini and when we pedaled up to Shark Lab, we were greeted by “Bullet” a very endearing young pit-bull. Bullet’s story is one not so uncommon on the island, but with a much happier ending. Bullet’s original owners made the poor decision to crop her ears themselves – with fishing line. When the American vets came to the island last October, they found Bullet in pretty bad shape. If no one was going to be able to nurse her back to health after treatment, they were going to have to put her down…… Shark Lab to the rescue! Now Bullet is a happy, healthy & acclimated addition to their island family. Next, it was time to meet one of the Lab’s 4 Bimini Boas. These snakes are absolutely beautiful and not harmful to humans, yet their imposing stereotype has resulted in a strong fear by island natives. Shark Lab has been working to reverse this attitude and hopes that will help give the snakes a fighting chance. They hope to be able to tag their 4 snakes & release them. In between dogs, snakes and the obvious shark stories, it was time to look at dolphin pictures. They could not be definitive in terms of shark size or species, but they did help show me what elements of a wound/scar would support the hypothesis of shark bite. So, in their opinion, spotted dolphin Billy (#64) has been the victim of two serious shark attacks in his young life. The verdict is still out: Is Billy the unluckiest dolphin in the sea (stay away from the sharks!) or the luckiest (hey, he got away!)? The month here in Bimini is winding down…Tomorrow I’ll start packing as I depart on Friday ;-( Until then, Kel
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