Bottlenose Dolphin

Marine mammals, including many bottlenose dolphins, wash ashore dead, dying or injured on Texas beaches, posing hard questions as to why they have stranded – is it due to biotoxins, viral diseases, cold temperatures, low oxygen, oil slicks and dispersants, or some other factor.


Narrator: Dr. Raymond TarpleyTitle: Unanswered QuestionsDuration: 00:04:12Date: April 16, 2020Dr. Raymond Tarpley, a veterinarian, retired professor at Texas A&M University, and co-founder of the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network, talks about the frustrations of budget shortfalls, foregone stranding tissue tests, and unanswered necropsy questions.Narrator: Dr. Raymond TarpleyTitle: Proximate CauseDuration: 00:03:30Date: April 16, 2020The veterinarian and former Texas A&M Professor, Dr. Raymond Tarpley, co-founded the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network, and here talks about the difficulty of isolating and identifying the root causes of strandings.Narrator: Heidi WhiteheadTitle: Charismatic AppealDuration: 00:03:32Date: April 30, 2020Heidi Whitehead, executive director of the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network, discusses the appeal that bottlenose dolphins hold for people, tying it back to appearances in the TV show "Flipper", marine park exhibits, or on the open sea, and to the high intelligence and distinctive personalities that they show in rehabilitation and other close encounters.Narrator: Heidi WhiteheadTitle: CaptivityDuration: 00:02:56Date: April 30, 2020There is a long-running controversy about the ethics of keeping wild animals in captivity. However, the issues are complicated. Heidi Whitehead, the executive director of the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network, discusses the role that marine parks can play in providing the veterinary treatments, medications, and social structure for dolphins that have stranded and been found to be non-releasable. She also mentions the support that the parks provide to small non-profit stranding and rescue organizations, such as her own.