OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - The Institute of Marine Mammal Studies is waiting to hear from the government on whether or not they can take in the dolphin found in a small Ocean Springs marina on Friday morning. After IMMS workers were notified about the animal, they visited Gulf Park Estates and shot video of the small dolphin, which looks to be in distress.
"Apparently its mother has died, and this young animal is suffering from fresh water effects on its skin," said IMMS Director Dr. Moby Solangi.
Upon arrival, IMMS staff members found the dolphin covered in algae and bruises, but there is nothing they could immediately do to help it. Solangi says unless an animal is found stranded, they must first report to the government and the National Marine Fishery Service has to decide whether or not IMMS can rescue the animal.
"In this case, since the animal is swimming, the government wants more information to make the decision. As you will probably be able to see, the animal has very serious skin lesions. It's a young animal. It probably cannot forage on its own," said Solangi.
Although the dolphin has only been spotted in the marina a few times over the past day, Solangi says his team is still watching out for it.
"From the condition it is in, I think it needs to be rescued. It needs to be looked at. If it can be rehabilitated, we can rehabilitate and then release it," said Solangi.
IMMS workers went to the marina on Saturday morning to look for the dolphin, but found no sign of it. Residents say they saw the dolphin swim away.
Solangi says he should know whether or not they are cleared to rescue the animal by Monday. If they can, he says a team will take a boat to Davis Bayou and continue looking for the animal.