Rescued Bottlenose Dolphin Introduced to 'Forever Home' in Florida Keys

A rescued juvenile dolphin was introduced to his new family after being rehabilitated by the Dolphin Research Center (DRC) in Marathon, Florida, on Thursday, May 12.

The dolphin calf, named Ranger, was discovered near Texas’s Goose Island State Park in June 2021, the DRC told Storyful, and had been suffering from an underlying respiratory infection and dehydration after his mother’s death.

Ranger was transported from the Texas State Aquarium to the center in late March, and had been put into a "medical pool for a quarantine period " to help him gain weight and strengthen his immune system.

“We are excited to welcome Ranger into the Dolphin Research Center family,” said DRC President/CEO Rita Irwin in a press release. “Texas State Aquarium did a fantastic job of restoring this youngster to health and we look forward to continuing to help him thrive with excellent care here at his new forever home.”

This video taken by the Florida Keys News Bureau – an agency owned by Monroe County that promotes tourism in the Florida Keys and Key West – shows Ranger entering his new lagoon. Credit: Florida Keys News Bureau via Storyful

Video Transcript

- Boy.

- Everybody, ready?

- One, two, three, nice and slow.

- OK.

- C 35.

- OK.

- All right.

- Wow, good boy.

- All right, guys. Everybody, listen up.

[INTERPOSING VOICES]

- All right, we're not going to-- too many people on the cart.

- Wade and learn, [INAUDIBLE].

- I'm on the edge of the cart.

- Got it.

- Good boy.

- [INAUDIBLE]

- Rodney, quick.

- Yo.

- Hustle. Go get them cones gone.

- [INAUDIBLE] just watch that tail, please.

- You guys OK?

- Yep.

- Yup.

- Yeah.

- Watch your end side.

- [INAUDIBLE] still good?

- Got it.

- Yeah.

- You need more people inside [INAUDIBLE] ?

- Better? He's gone.

[INTERPOSING VOICES]

- Nice.

- Look at him.

- Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh.

- Oh my God.

- Oh my gosh.

- Good boy.

- That's his--

- I'm going to come real close to him, OK?

- Intimidating right over your shoulder. Good boy.

LINDA ERB: Good boy, mister man. Good boy, mister man. I'm so proud of you. I am so proud of you, little--

We're pretty surprised that he decided to turn on and eat within probably 30, 45 minutes of getting in the pool. It's--you can imagine, he hasn't heard dolphin sounds for over a year. He's inundated. There's dolphins all around him. He's looking at them. I thought the last thing he was going to be interested in is fish.

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