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Christmas-Season Dolphin Rescue

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Molly McLaughlin answers questions from second-graders
Molly McLaughlin answers questions from second-graders about two dolphins rescued over the Christmas holiday and her experience in helping care for them.
On January 23, Molly McLaughlin from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)'s St. Petersburg Science Center in St. Petersburg, FL, spoke to second-graders at McMullen-Booth Elementary School in Clearwater, FL, about the December rescue of two stranded dolphins in Tampa Bay. The children had expressed an interest in hearing about the mother and son dolphins, who beached in 8-inch-deep waters on the afternoon of December 23.

The dolphins were discovered by two fishermen and taken to the Florida Aquarium in Tampa. Molly received a call around 10 p.m. that evening from a member of the Marine Mammal Rescue Team looking for volunteers to help care for the dolphins. She arrived at the aquarium at 11 p.m. and worked with the rescue team through the night until midmorning on Christmas Eve. Molly was on one of the first teams to care for the dolphins, who had a severe case of sunburn from being exposed to the air.

On Christmas Eve, the dolphins were transferred across the bay to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, where they were named Noelle and baby Nicholas, in honor of the Christmas season. Noelle died on December 27, from infections connected to her burns, but Nicholas continues to recover. Dennis Kellenberger, executive director of the aquarium, estimated that Nicholas still has at least 6 months of healing to go, given the damage caused by his third-degree sunburn. By late February, Nicholas was no longer quarantined; he was eating solid food, cooperating with his caregivers, and starting to play. Periodic updates about his condition are available on the Clearwater Marine Aquarium Web site.

Related Web Sites
St. Petersburg Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), St. Petersburg, FL
"Nicholas" Updates
Clearwater Marine Aquarium

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Research cover story:
Competitive Edge of Invasive Species

Lake Mead Work Continues

Outreach Dolphin Rescue

London Interns Tour St. Pete

Congressional Briefing on Gas Hydrates

Volcanic Ash and Aviation Safety

Science Mentoring

Meetings Coastal Vulnerability

Lidar Data and Technology

International Deep-Sea Corals Workshop

Northeastern Coastal Ecosystems and Resources Workshop

Awards Shinn Wins 2002 Shoemaker Distinguished Achievement Award

Coastal and Marine Scientists Win 2002 Shoemaker Product Excellence Awards

Behrendt and Poag Elected AAAS Fellows

Normark Awarded Keen Medal

Staff & Center News A Tribute to Joe Newell

Marine Geophysics Pioneer Honored

Celebrating Careers of Five Retirees

Manheim Lectures on Trends in Scientific and Technological Innovation

Publications San Francisco Bay Earthquake Hazards

Effectivenes of Marine Reserves in Central California

Human Influence on Diatom Productivity and Sedimentation in Chesapeake Bay

Feb. / Mar. Publications List

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