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Dunham, The Dolphin Attacked By Sharks

July 29, 2009

Sad News from Clearwater Marine Aquarium

dolphin-attackedThere has been an incident regarding Dunham, the dolphin who was released this morning. Several hours after being released, he was attacked by sharks and after determining the extent of his injuries, veterinarians humanely euthanized Dunham to reduce his suffering. His injuries were so extensive that he would not have survived. Heroic efforts were taken to support him in the water after the attack, but his injuries were so severe that he would not have survived.

“It is a very sad day for the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Gulf World Marine Park and Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute,” said Clearwater Marine Aquarium CEO David Yates. “Animal care staff worked tirelessly to rescue, rehabilitate and release this animal, but when nature takes over, it is out of anyone’s control.”

dolphin-attacked-1CMA staff rescued Dunham from Anclote Key Island in December 2008. CMA staff will monitor Dunham’s progress through the use of a VHF transmitter for two months after the release. This will help provide researchers with important information about his progress and travels.

Dunham was originally found December 2008 emaciated with several superficial abrasions. He weighed 245 pounds and is estimated to be about 6-9 years old. CMA provided immediate medical attention, including antibiotic injections, fluids and supported him in a triage pool at overnight, before he was transported to Gulf World Marine Park in Panama City. Dunham suffered from pneumonia and severe gastritis. He went through seven months of rehabilitation.

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