Media Relations

Press Release:


Researchers at Harbor Branch at FAU Assist in Rescue of Dolphin Calf

            FORT PIERCE, FL (December 23, 2010)
– Researchers from the Marine Mammal Research and Conservation program (MMRCP) at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University recently assisted in a successful rescue effort of an orphaned baby dolphin from the Indian River Lagoon in Titusville.

The fully dependent orphaned calf, estimated to be between 6 to 8 weeks old, was found swimming alongside its dead mother. The calf is part of the Indian River Lagoon dolphin population which researchers at Harbor Branch have studied since 1996. The mother’s cause of death will be determined based on necropsy results conducted by the Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, Harbor Branch’s stranding network partner.

Dr. Juli Goldstein, D.V.M., staff veterinarian and assistant research professor at Harbor Branch, alongside Steve McCulloch, founder and program manager of the MMRCP, and Steve Burton, Harbor Branch animal care specialist, evaluated the calf and worked to stabilize and place it aboard the Harbor Branch dolphin ambulance for transport to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA) in Clearwater.

Upon arrival, Goldstein and McCulloch placed the calf in a pool to acclimate it and enable bottle feeding. The researchers also worked with the staff at CMA to set a process in motion for continued feedings, medical evaluations and treatments.

“This effort demonstrates the successful collaboration and partnerships with the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Network to ensure that Florida’s dolphins will always have a future in Florida’s waters,” McCulloch said.

For more information, contact Steve McCulloch at 772-201-1535.


About Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute:

Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University is a research institute dedicated to exploration, innovation, conservation and education related to the oceans.  Harbor Branch was founded in 1971 as a private non-profit organization. In December 2007, Harbor Branch joined Florida Atlantic University. The institute specializes in ocean engineering, at-sea operations, drug discovery and biotechnology from the oceans, coastal ecology and conservation, marine mammal research and conservation, aquaculture, and marine education. For more information, visit

About Florida Atlantic University:

Florida Atlantic University opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses and sites. Building on its rich tradition as a teaching university, with a world-class faculty, FAU hosts 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of  Education, the College of  Engineering & Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. For more information, visit


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