Baby Dolphin "Little Orphan Annie" Loses Battle For Her Life

FT. PIERCE, FL - Early Wednesday morning (Feb. 10) at 12:15 a.m., eight (8) days after her arrival at Harbor Branch Oceanographic's Emergency Marine Mammal Care and Rehabilitation Center, "Annie", a young orphaned Stenella dolphin took her last breath and then died quietly while cradled in the arms of professional caregiver Mr. Robin Friday. Several Harbor Branch assisting staff were also present. "I want everyone to know that "Annie" expired peacefully in the company of those who cared for her most." (SDM).

After notifying National Marine Fisheries Service, S.E. Regional Stranding Coordinator, Ms. Blair Mase, "Annie's" corpse was secured for an immediate transfer to Hubbs-Sea World where a team of pathology experts and Harbor Branch Dolphin Research staff will perform a detailed necropsy. Complete pathology and histology results, together with our detailed care and treatment plan records, will then become a part of an international marine mammal database, so that scientists can learn more about these magnificent marine mammals.

While at Harbor Branch, "Annie" received constant around the clock care and observation from a very dedicated and professional staff. Although "Annie's" chances, like many stranded dolphin, were less than 2% from the outset, Harbor Branch made every effort to provide for her recovery.

Stephen McCulloch, Harbor Branch Director of Dolphin Research and Conservation noted, " "Annie" had a tremendous will to survive and fought great odds. She surprised us many times, even eating solid food for the last few days, regaining several pounds of weight. Indeed, the past eight days and nights have been a real roller coaster of emotions for us all. "Annie" shared with us an indomitable spirit, prospects of hope, moments of joy and laughter-- but ultimately great sorrow."

Now, "Annie" serves as an added inspiration for the construction of a "State of the Art" Marine Mammal Care and Research Center, which Harbor Branch will endeavor t

Contact: Susan J. Hanson
561-465-2400 x206
Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution

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