Stranded whales bonding and recovering at IMMS in Gulfport - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Stranded whales bonding and recovering at IMMS in Gulfport

Melon headed whales recovering and bonding in this specialized pool at the IMMS in Gulfport. (Photo source: WLOX News) Melon headed whales recovering and bonding in this specialized pool at the IMMS in Gulfport. (Photo source: WLOX News)
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

The two melon headed whales found beached ashore in Waveland Tuesday are moving on their own Wednesday, without human assistance at the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies (IMMS) in Gulfport.

Surfacing on their own, the larger of the two whales is swimming. The smaller one simply bobbing up and down. Veterinarians for the melon headed whales remain committed to maintaining their health.

"We play it by ear, by what we're getting diagnostically. So we're waiting to get the results back, the cultures from their blow hole," said Veterinarian Dr. Debra Moore.

Dr. Moore said those cultures will reveal whether the whales treatments need to be changed, and what infections the animals have. She said blood test results showed the males are seriously dehydrated.

No tests were needed to show the visible wounds that have been treated with laser therapy.

"The smaller one has the blistering on the side. There's a puncture wound. Dr. Solangi thinks it may be shark related," Moore explained.

As every change in behavior is monitored, researchers notice a milestone in recovery - their breathing is now stabilized. They also noticed the close bond these sea creatures have for one another.

"Initially on the site they were very anxious whenever separated. So once we got them back to the facility we made sure we kept them in the same pool. Because every time they were separated one would begin to panic. And they really like to stay side by side if not close," said research intern Hannah Healey.

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