GRAND CHENIER, La. (KPLC) - The Audubon Coastal Wildlife Network (CWN) and the Southeast Region Marine Mammal Stranding Network were able to rescue and release a dolphin and her calf that were in a bayou near Grand Chenier on Nov. 9, 2020.
The dolphins were likely displaced due to flooding from Hurricane Laura.
“This rescue, along with other rescues associated with the aftermath of Hurricane Laura, would not have been possible without the collaborative efforts from our partner organizations,” said Audubon Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Stranding, Rescue, and Rehab Coordinator Gabriella Harlamert. “We are thankful for the continued support of our partners and that we were able to positively impact marine life in Louisiana.”
The mother dolphin was satellite-tagged during the rescue so that her movements can be monitored for the next several months. This will provide researchers valuable data on how successful the rescue was and the dolphin’s range which will help scientists develop a better understanding of dolphin movements in Louisiana waters.
Coastal flooding and storm surges from hurricanes often cause marine mammals to strand on land or be washed into inland waterways like lakes and canals that are outside of their typical environment. The animals that are found in these areas require rescue by trained responders to return them to their natural habitat.
The Audobon and Marine Mammal Stranding Network have successfully rescued and released a total of six bottlenose dolphins since September that were presumed to be trapped from Hurricane Larua’s coastal flooding.
All six of these rescues were made possible due to residents reporting them to CWN.
You can report a stranded marine mammal or sea turtle to CWN by calling (504) 235-3005.
When reporting you will be asked for the following:
- The animal’s exact location and/or GPS coordinates.
- Photographs of the animal.
- Information on the animal such as its type, size, and if it is alive or dead.
When reporting try to adhere to the following safety precautions:
- Do not attempt to approach the animal if conditions are dangerous.
- Keep crowds away and noise levels to prevent stress on the animal.
- Do not attempt to push an animal on shore back into the water.
- If the animal returns to the water on its own, do not attempt to interact with it.
- Leave all entanglements like nets on the animal until rescuers arrive.