The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies rescue team saved a stranded rare melon-head whale on Thursday.
The whale was in critical condition and has been in heavy treatment ever since.
Upon arrival, crews identified the injuries as a large shark bite along with multiple lesions all over his body. IMMS has someone in the water with the whale around the clock to monitor and nurse him back to health.
This is the first marine mammal that has been found alive in recent months. This helps the biologists and other employees at IMMS see what these animals are facing in the wild.
It gives the institute a better idea of marine mammal mortality, especially after the opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway.
They say since being treated in their facility, workers have already seen improvements. Christa Barrett with IMMS said, “He has been swimming well on his own, a little bit uncoordinated, but making improvements with that. So, hopefully if he gets to swimming better on his own and gets stronger as he is healing, hopefully we can just have someone just outside of the pool watching him soon. So, he is doing okay. We are hopeful.”
IMMS is also currently caring for 12 turtles at their facility from three different species: the Kemps Ridley, logger head, and a green sea turtle. Four of those 12 turtles should be ready for release soon.