Press Release: Shark-Attacked Dolphin Retains Its Echolocation, Essential in Avoiding Predators
Hearing loss is detrimental to wild cetaceans, as they rely on echolocation to hunt, navigate and avoid predators.
The rescued Atlantic bottlenose dolphin, recovering from shark bite wounds and pneumonia, passed its hearing test at SeaWorld Orlando.
NOAA Fisheries and SeaWorld recently performed a hearing test on the dolphin. The testing showed the dolphin has full hearing through the entire frequency range necessary for echolocation.
It is crucial for cetaceans to pass a hearing test to ensure hearing loss was not a factor in their stranding. Hearing loss is detrimental to wild cetaceans, as they rely on echolocation to hunt, navigate and avoid predators.
In March, members of the SeaWorld Orlando Rescue Team and the Georgia Aquarium assisted in the rescue of this dolphin in Ponte Vedra Beach. The teams were called to assist by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) after determining that a rescue and rehabilitation attempt was necessary due to the animal’s life-threatening shark bite wounds. The dolphin was transported to SeaWorld Orlando for rehabilitation.
SeaWorld veterinarians and the Animal Rescue Team have been treating the dolphin with antibiotics, dewormers, anti-inflamamtories, physical therapy and wound care.
The next milestones for this dolphin’s rehabilitation will be for her pneumonia to clear and for her to gain additional weight and strength. The SeaWorld Animal Rescue Team and veterinarians will continue to provide 24-hour care and treatment, with the ultimate goal to rehabilitate her to full health and return her to the wild.