Back to dolphins

I’m happy to be reporting on the first two dolphin trips of 2009! YAY! On Tuesday, we headed to the “dolphin grounds” in search of our old friends. It took a couple of hours to find them, but we were greeted by a surprising group of youngsters. It isn’t often that we see calves unaccompanied by their mothers – so, although yesterdays group included un-named #84 (independent calf of Trudy), a second very young juvenile (only a spot or two) and 3 calves, we suspect that the mothers weren’t far away.

Another field report about a manatee…

Harold (aka Kodi) the manatee is a free man! After being given a clean bill of health, the logistics of his release were thoughtfully sorted out. On Thursday, 19 March 2009, this manatee was released near Crystal River on the west coast of Florida. He is once again outfitted with a radio/satellite tag, which will allow researchers to track the adventurous animal’s movements. For a short time following the release, his movements were observed by boat. He appeared to be fine and soon met up with another adult manatee.

Watch the January 2009 Manatee Rescue!

As many of you already know, in late 2008/early 2009, we observed an apparently healthy, male manatee off Bimini, Bahamas for 8 weeks. Manatees are not generally found in this area and so it was decided that, if possible, this ~1200 pound mammal would be captured and returned to its native Florida. Here, you can relive part of the 24 January 2009 rescue:{youtube}8m77N3qRYVI{/youtube} This manatee, first called Harold but renamed Kodi, is currently residing at the Miami SeaQuarium's manatee rehabilitation center.

Goodbye Harold

  Harold the manatee’s time in Bimini came to an end on Saturday. After much discussion with local Biminites, the Bahamian Department of Marine Resources, US Fish & Wildlife, US Geological Survey and Miami SeaQuarium, the decision to capture Harold was executed…. Here is Harold resting on his sling just before he was back in the shade.  My day began at approximately 7:15 a.m., with a call from the SeaQuarium Curator. He and his 6 person manatee rescue team were 2 miles off Bimini aboard the US Coast Guard’s Cutter, Kodiak Island.

Harold the Manatee…7 weeks and counting

I like the slogan “it’s better in the Bahamas,” but it is hard to tell if this applies to a manatee. Today marks the start of week 8 (as far as we know) of this stray male manatee’s visit in Bimini. Thanks to efforts by the US Geological Survey, he is now outfitted with a handy tag that provides a radio signal for real time tracking and a satellite signal for long-term monitoring.