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Rough tooth dolphin found, euthanized off Fort Myers Beach

By Staff | Apr 26, 2019

A rough-tooth dolphin, which was found off Fort Myers Beach late Tuesday, April 23, was euthanized on site where it was stranded due to its conditions.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Spokesperson Michelle Kerr said it was a very young female dolphin, measuring approximately 122 centimeters. She said the dolphin was found very emaciated and in poor health, which was why FWC veterinarian decided to euthanize the animal.

“It was called in Tuesday, late Tuesday night. Our rescue teams did not get done until 1 a.m.,” Kerr said. “It was really thin and it was a very young dolphin. It was not healthy enough for rehabilitation.”

Kerr said the rough tooth dolphin can be found in warm and tropical waters throughout the world. She said they have a broad geographical range.

Kerr said there have been a couple other reports and rescues and rehabilitations throughout the state of rough tooth dolphins. A couple of years ago, she said one found in the northern part of the panhandle in Franklin County.

“They are not the most common species, but not extremely rare either,” Kerr said.

An important message FWC wants to convey to the community is no one should ever push a stranded dolphin or manatee back in the water. Rather they should call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Alert Hotline at 1-888-404-3922.

“It’s a statewide number for wildlife violations and emergencies. Any kind of animal in distress … call into that number,” she said, adding that it is very important for beachgoers to call in any sightings of distressed mammals.

Kerr said a trained professional can look at the animal and give it the medical attention it needs.

A case about a month ago involved a good Samaritan who tried to push a dolphin back into the water once it was found. The dolphin ended up dying.

“It’s just an example of people trying to help,” Kerr said.