Update on rare whale at IMMS

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Last month, News 25 told you about the rare whale that was recovering at the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies.

News 25’s Kristen Anzuini brings us an update on the rare whale.

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Veterinarian Dr. Debra Moore said, “Honestly, I thought he was not going to make it.” Almost four weeks ago, this pygmy killer whale was clinging to life, washed up on shore, stranded on Cat Island. “He was really in critical condition when he first came in, with a really poor prognosis, but since that time we have treated him with medication and medications for parasites and antibiotics. We’ve done a lot of diagnostic testing and he is improving.”

This rare whale has come a long way within the last few weeks. When he first arrived to the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies, he needed round the clock care with someone to hold him afloat at all times. “They are deep water animals. They live hundreds of miles out in the Gulf and he was very, very ill. So, right now he is in a shallow pool, but they dive very deep in the water. We’ve learned with our other pygmy killer whales that they can go up to 1,000 feet. So, right now he is in rehabilitation mode.”

The goal is not only to study and learn from this whale, but get him healthy enough to be released back into the wild. “When we get a chance to work with them and understand more of what is happening, they are reflective of what is happening in our environment. So, everything we’ve learned adds to our ability to save other marine mammals in future from the Gulf.”


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Dr. Moore tells News 25 without a fisherman calling the IMMS this whale would have died on shore. “It is just very important for the public to keep an eye out when they are out there on their boats. Let us know if something happens. We really appreciate people calling in and following his story because he is an amazing creature to see rehabilitate.”

The IMMS hopes to release this whale within the next few months.