WHAT IS INVOLVED IN THE REHABILITATION PROCESS?
Animals brought to the center undergo rehabilitation with the goal of returning them to the ocean to live as a wild animal. Animals with recoverable illnesses and injuries are treated. Medication and treatment is overseen by a veterinarian approved by NMFS and the rehabilitation center. Young animals present different problems than older animals. After being rehydrated, the animals are offered food. If they will not eat on their own, they must be taught to feed. Animals are released only after they can eat readily on their own, have no medical problems, and have normal body weight for their age and gender. Animals typically spend about 2 months in rehabilitation. Some are here less time; some more. Extensive records are kept on each animal and this information becomes part of the stranding report on that animal. Released animals are identified with a plastic flipper tag before release. This tag carries a unique number for each animal. Animals that strand again can be traced from the number on the tag.