Dunham was found 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 CMA overnight, before he was transported to Gulf World Marine Park in Panama City. Dunham suffered from pneumonia and severe gastritis. After almost seven months of rehabilitation, he now weighs about 275 pounds and is ready for release.
CMA has not helped with a dolphin release since November 2006, when dolphins Mandy and Troy were released. According to NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), 26 dolphins have been released in the Southeast region (from Texas to North Carolina, and including the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico) since 2004. The average dolphin release per year is 2.5, although in 2005, 13 animals were released. 24 dolphins have been released in Florida over the past five years, including Bottlenose, Risso’s, Rough-toothed, Harbor Porpoise and Atlantic spotted dolphins.
The Clearwater Marine Aquarium is a non-profit organization, dedicated to marine life rescue, rehabilitation and release, and environmental education.