Rex joins Rudolph a.k.a. Rudy, another rough-toothed dolphin who recently joined the aquarium.
In a press release from the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, it explains how they are one of only two places in North America that is home to a member of the rough-toothed dolphin species.
“Rex stranded on St. George Island in Franklin County, Florida on April 19, 2019. Estimated to be about 5 – 7 years old, Rex had a fair body condition upon his intake but later tests revealed he had a combination of aspiration and fungal pneumonia. A test performed by National Marine Fisheries Service confirmed Rex has hearing loss associated with echolocation, and because of this challenge, NMFS deemed Rex non-releasable in August 2019. Rex has been in care at Gulf World which was the only facility at that time to house other rough-toothed dolphins.”
Rudolph stranded off Sanibel Island on December 16 and was transported to Clearwater Marine Aquarium’s rehabilitation facility at Fred Howard Park in Tarpon Springs, about 20 miles north of CMA. During his recovery, the team at CMA observed behaviors from Rudolph that indicated possible hearing loss. A hearing test was performed by NMFS which uncovered that Rudolph does not have the hearing range to echolocate, severely limiting his ability to survive in the wild. Due to his hearing loss, NMFS determined he was non-releasable and selected Clearwater Marine Aquarium to be his forever home.
You can always visit Rex & Rudy at the aquarium, but they also have several ways to experience it virtually through webcams and personalized videos.