Rough-tooth Dolphin Research at Gulf World

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Dr. Lydia Staggs starts her morning checking on the animals at Gulf World.

She is currently working to two research projects that are changing the way the Rough-tooth dolphins are able to live and survive.

They have only been in human care for 12 years, and very little is known about them.

"That's why I want to bring it up to speed and get it up as fast as possible,” said Dr. Staggs. “To establish normal perimeters. Whenever you bring anything from the wild, and these guys are stranded, they can't go back, they were sick, landed on the beach, have injuries, we have to do our best to take care of them and make sure they're as healthy as possible."

She is keeping them healthy by establishing their normal; their normal diet, medications, even water temperature.

Dr. Staggs also works with Auburn University veterinarians, together they established a blood test for zygomycosis, a rare fungus that gets into both human and dolphin blood.

"We will send their blood to Auburn and they will run a specialized test and look at tiers, to see if there are a certain fungal tiers in the blood."

Dr. Staggs is constantly researching and presenting her findings to other facilities around the world, trying to help those that have the same species.

If you happen to come across a stranded animal along the beach, do not hesitate to call Gulf World.

Gulf World
15412 Front Beach Rd
Panama City Beach, FL 32413
(850) 234-5271