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Dolphin Rescue!

The Marine Mammal Center rescued a dolphin calf that stranded at Oceano Dunes in San Luis Obispo, CA.


October 1, 2013

Long Marine Lab reports that Minion was actually a Long-beaked common dolphin. No abnormalities were found but scientists are doing genetic testing to see if they can learn more about the species.

September 26, 2013

© Maryann Avila

We have sad news to report today; Minion died overnight. Preliminary cause of death is maternal separation, and the medical team at Long Marine Lab will conduct a post mortem examination to learn more about him and his species. It is thought that he may be a striped dolphin.


September 25, 2013

A 3-foot-long, one to two-week-old baby dolphin was found by a beachgoer on Oceano Dunes in San Luis Obispo County this morning. "Minion", as he was later named, was all alone and trembling on the beach - he needed help!

Lisa Harper Henderson, site manager for The Marine Mammal Center's San Luis Obispo Operations, along with volunteers Gary Angelus and Peggy and Leo DeWinter, arrived a short time later and prepared for the delicate rescue. Rescuing a cetacean is not a simple task, as the survival rate once it strands out of the water is small. With that in mind, the team's top priority was to keep Minion wet and make sure his body weight was well distributed so as to not impact his fins or crush internal organs.

Rescuers keep Minion wet during transport to Long Marine Lab in Santa Cruz, CA.
© Maryann Avila

The team administered midazolam, a sedative used to control his tremors and to stabilize him for transport. He was then transported to Long Marine Lab in Santa Cruz. There, he'll receive the care a young dolphin needs to survive. It's too early tell what the prognosis will be for Minion, but based on experience, it is likely he will need human care for the rest of his life as experience shows that when dolphin calves are separated from their mothers at such a young age, they will not survive if released back to the wild.

This is the first live dolphin rescue The Marine Mammal Center has conducted since 2011.  Click the link below to read about Ernestina, a dolphin spotted near San Francisco International Airport in 2012, that we helped monitor but did not ultimately need to rescue.




Read about Ernestina, another dolphin spotted near SFO International Airport in 2012!

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