A juvenile bottlenose dolphin named Ranger has become a Floridian. On Friday, the dolphin flew from his previous home at the Texas State Aquarium Wildlife Rescue Center in Corpus Christi. The dolphin was rescued in June 2021 after being discovered stranded in waters around Goose Island State Park. While at the Wildlife Rescue Center, Ranger had been treated for a respiratory infection and dehydration.
Ranger is Too Young to Be Released into the Wild:
Because Ranger is so young, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) felt that he could not be released back into the wild, so they selected the Dolphin Research Center to be his permanent home. Many times, when dolphins are rescued at a young age, they have not yet learned to catch fish on their own. The Research Center chose the name "Ranger" as a nod to the dolphin's Texas roots.
DRC President and CEO Rita Irwin said on the Dolphin Research Center's Facebook page:
“We are excited to welcome Ranger into the Dolphin Research Center family. Texas State Aquarium did a fantastic job of restoring this youngster to health, and we look forward to continuing to help him thrive with excellent care here at his new forever home."
Ranger Will be Given Time to Acclimate to His New Surroundings:
Right now, Ranger is swimming in the Research Center's medical pool and is being monitored by staff. However, he's reportedly eating very well and is playing and interacting with his toys. After monitoring, Ranger will eventually be transferred to the facility’s dolphin lagoons in Florida Bay and will be gradually be introduced to other dolphins at the facility.
The Dolphin Research Center is open from 9am to 4:30pm daily. It is located at 58901 Overseas Highway, Grassy Key, Florida 33050. According to the Center's website, its mission is "to promote peaceful coexistence, cooperation, and communication between marine mammals, humans, and the environment..."