Georgia Magazine - August 2013 - (Page 26A)

Bonus t conten Saving Wilma The story of Wilma the dolphin illustrates the lifethreatening effect of debris and pollution as well as the potentially lifesaving work of marine scientists and The Dolphin Project. MARK WAGNER / SAVANNAH STATE UNIVERSITY In 2007, Savannah area residents saw a small Bottlenose dolphin with something around its neck. The dolphin calf disappeared for a time but reappeared a year later—still with the object lodged around its neck. When it became apparent that a rescue was required, the Marine Mammal Stranding Network was called to help. Peach Hubbard, of Richmond Hill, and her husband, Roy, were invited to be part of the rescue effort. “We were on the boat that monitored the movements of the dolphin until the other rescuers arrived from around the Southeast,” Hubbard says. After a boat with a special net captured the dolphin, it was moved onto a floating platform and examined by eight scientists. Dolphins often blow and then pop bubble rings from their blowholes, and the dolphin had mistaken a rubber loop for a bubble ring when it was a year old. As the dolphin grew and the rubber loop didn’t, it became embedded in the dolphin’s neck. The marine scientists removed the loop, cleaned the wound, measured the dolphin, took blubber samples, determined its gender (female), drew blood, pulled a tooth to determine the dolphin’s age (she was 2) and tagged the dorsal fin. Because her injury was deemed non-lifethreatening, the dolphin—dubbed “Wilma” by The Dolphin Project because she was captured in the Wilmington River—was released. The Dolphin Project and the Savannah State University Marine Science Department (which calls her MARK WAGNER / SAVANNAH STATE UNIVERSITY BY AMY L. SCHNEIDER “Waldo”—as in, “Where’s Waldo?”) continue to check on the dolphin. Though her tag has fallen off, her deep, distinctive scar makes her easy to identify. Today, she is flourishing and has been adopted by a group of dolphins. To see more photos from Wilma’s rescue, go to www.thedol For more information on dolphins, visit The Dolphin Project’s website at www. (Continued on page 26B) To read this month’s feature, “Tracking the Bottlenose dolphins,” see page 22. August 2013 More online at 26A

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - August 2013

Georgia Magazine - August 2013
Georgia News
Picture This?
Liberty Notes
Calendar of Events
Sweet Success
Tracking the Bottlenose Dolphins
Saving Wilma; Dolphin Facts
Around Georgia
While Visiting Lake Oconee
My Georgia
Georgia Cooks
Second Helping: We All Scream for More Ice Cream!
More Snapshot Photos
Plant of the Month
August’s Online Trivia Contest
Georgia Grown Spotlight

Georgia Magazine - August 2013