GA1119 - Big Al
|Species: Bottlenose Dolphin,
Age Class: Adult
Date of Stranding: June 12, 2001
Location of Stranding: Crystal Beach, Bolivar, TX
Duration of care at TMMSN: 134 days
Final Disposition: Deceased October 24, 2001
GA1119 Big Al, an adult male bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) stranded alive June 12, 2001 on Crystal Beach on the Bolivar Peninsula and was taken to Galveston for rehabilitation. He was 8 ft long and approximately 300 lbs at stranding. The TMMSN was planning a demonstration necropsy for Texas A&M Galveston Sea Camp students at the time of the stranding and the students graciously volunteered to help set up and ready the rehab pool while the rescue team traveled to Bolivar to pick up the dolphin. Initially, he was in critical condition and could swim on his own for only brief periods of time. TMMSN volunteers would stay with him, ready to assist him as he needed until he was finally able to swim on his own all day. Throughout his rehabilitation, Big Al's condition fluctuated and many diagnostic tests were run during his care from blood draws to endoscopies. After four months of care, Al's condition deteriorated further and he passed away October 24, 2001. Necropsy revealed meningitis, which is untreatable and undetectable in live dolphins.