Rescues at Katrina-Hit Aquarium

Photo: dolphins being fed by rescue workers
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On September 14, 2005, rescue workers feed a group of aquarium dolphins stranded in the Gulf of Mexico. On August 29 eight Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, including the animals pictured, from the Marine Life Oceanarium in Gulfport, Mississippi, were swept into the Gulf when a 40-foot (12-meter) wave struck the facility during Hurricane Katrina.

Before the storm oceanarium officials had evacuated 6 of the facility's 14 dolphins to hotel swimming pools, which had been filled with salt water, farther inland. Also before Katrina, the other eight animals had been secured in a 30-foot-deep (9-meter-deep) tank. The tank remained standing after the storm, but the massive wave washed its inhabitants into open water.

All eight dolphins survived and were spotted swimming in the Gulf by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists during an aerial survey of the hurricane damage. Oceanarium staff members are now working with NOAA and other organizations to tend to the marine mammals until they can be taken to nearby saltwater pools for medical care.

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Photograph courtesy NOAA
 
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