UF IFAS Taylor County Extension has released its preliminary 2017 Scallop Season monitoring results. Here is what they found:
A Second Chance for a Rescued Pilot Whale
The 725 lb. whale beached herself in Dixie County, FL on July 1. Discovered by beach goers, teams from the University of Florida and Clearwater Marine Aquariumrescued and transported her to our rehabilitation facility for continued medical care.
Upon arrival, our team initiated around-the-clock care. She responded quickly to treatment from our veterinarian team and began to show signs of improvement almost immediately.
Together with NOAA, our Animal Rescue Team quickly made arrangements to return her back to her natural environment. First step was determining a return location. Plans were made to release her 140 miles off the West Coast of Florida in an area known to be populated by pilot whale pods. Next step was securing a large enough vessel to transport her and the team. This is when the U.S. Coast Guard stepped in. To ensure the pilot whale was returned safely and carefully, the U.S. Coast Guard assisted with the complex transport.
With all of the logistics in order it was time for the team to head out for the return. On Tuesday morning, August 8, the pilot whale, nicknamed “Gale” by the USCG crew, was successfully returned to the Gulf of Mexico.
Just prior to her release, the pilot whale was satellite tagged by researchers with the Chicago Zoological Society’s Sarasota Dolphin Research Program. The tag will allow researchers and rescuers to track her movements and dive patterns for the next several months.
Stay tuned for continued updates on “Gale” as we receive information from NOAA and the teams tracking her.
As a boater, I want to help protect seagrass in Florida and pledge to
• Avoid seagrass beds when possible,
• Trim my motor and idle to a safe depth before getting up on plane, and
• Push my boat to a safe area if I run aground.
If you missed the seminar in Steinhatchee you can watch the replay below.