By Ric O’Barry
Every time a dolphin gets in trouble, anywhere in the world, my phone rings.
Just last week, another call came in, and the dolphin trail called me once again. That is why I now find myself in Almerimar, Spain.
People from a Spanish grassroots organization, called PROMAR, alerted me to the plight of a baby, striped dolphin. They have named him Marcos. He was discovered close to shore near Roquetas de Mar and was clearly not in good health. While PROMAR speculates that perhaps his pod was killed, or he simply lost his way due to his illness, we may never know the cause of Marcos’ isolation.
Thankfully, PROMAR volunteer staff were quick to act, and they placed him in a sea pen in a sheltered bay in order to rehabilitate and release him. They have been watching him night and day, sometimes pulling all-night shifts to ensure his safety, making sure he stayed at the surface where he could breathe. He has been in their care for more than three months now. Needless to say, we all want to see Marcos make a full recovery and return to his ocean home!
They knew of my work, so I postponed my trip to Japan and canceled my Thanksgiving plans for Hawai’i and headed for Spain.
I’m here to help make sure that the remainder of the rehab is done as well as we can do and that the release is ultimately successful. The PROMAR volunteers have done such an incredible job so far; I am here to help and guide them. Since I’ve done this a few times before, I know what to look for and what pitfalls to avoid.
Please stay tuned for more updates about Marcos. Dolphin Project, PROMAR, and I are in this for the long haul.
For more information about PROMAR, please visit their Facebook page and follow them @DolphinMarcos, and #SavingMarocs and #Tweet4Dolphins. Marcos and PROMAR’s volunteers rely on support from generous and supportive people like you, so please take a moment if you can to donate to help cover costs.
Ric and the PROMAR team in the medical tent.