Rex is a rough-toothed dolphin who was found stranded off of St. George Island, Florida in April 2019. He was brought to CMA to be a companion for our first rescued rough-toothed dolphin, Rudolph.
Where to See
- Herring, capelin, silversides
- Rescue Date
- St. George Island, Florida
Rex is a rough-toothed dolphin who stranded on St. George Island in Franklin County, Florida on April 19, 2019, and is estimated to be about 5-7 years old. With fair body condition upon stranding, Rex later demonstrated challenges with his lungs likely due to aspiration and fungal pneumonia in rehab. Further diagnostic testing revealed that Rex had ingested several marine sponges! It is common to find sponge in the stomach of this particular species. Interestingly, one theory is that this behavior could be correlated with hearing loss. This concept suggests eating sponges may fill the stomach when finding fish may be difficult due to loss of hearing associated with echolocation.
During his rehabilitation, hearing tests determined Rex had significant hearing loss, which would impact his ability to echolocate for food and to evade predators. Because of his hearing loss, NMFS deemed Rex non-releasable in August 2019 and placed him for care at Gulf World which was the only facility to house other rough-toothed dolphins. Because of the close proximity of age, Rex makes the perfect partner for Rudolph the rough-toothed dolphin, whose home is Clearwater Marine Aquarium. It’s important that Rex and Rudolph are paired as socialization is critical to the welfare of dolphins to promote optimal social development and reduces stress.
More about Rex
Rex was originally a permanent resident at Gulf World, the only North American facility at the time to house rescued rough-toothed dolphins. In July 2020, a rough-toothed dolphin named Rudolph became a permanent resident at Clearwater Marine Aquarium after being deemed non-releasable due to similar hearing loss. CMA has a history of providing excellent care for dolphins who exhibit hearing loss, like Panama, PJ, and Hemingway.