Stranded dolphin finds home and friends at Gulf World Marine Park

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - A bottlenose dolphin that washed ashore in October is now getting comfortable at her new permanent home at Gulf World Marine Park.

Some beach goers found Samira stranded on the coast of Okaloosa Island after Hurricane Nate.

After weeks of rehabilitation, Samira was deemed non-releasable due to her very young age and mother dependency. She has since been integrated with the other dolphins and representatives said she seems to be enjoying her time with them.

"They say she is very bold and intelligent. She is learning something new everyday and she is learning from the older dolphins and she just makes everyone's day brighter," Gulf World Sales and Marketing Manager Sam Tuno said.

Although she is the youngest, her trainers say she is a quick learner when it comes to essential behaviors and loves to give kisses.

The month of March is also Dolphin Awareness month.

"The Marine Mammal Protection Act makes it illegal for you to harass or feed those dolphins. So if you see them out in the wild, enjoy them take photos of them but give them their space and absolutely don't feed them because it makes them dependent and they won't know how to forage for themselves," Tuno said.

With two different dolphin species at the facility, Gulf World will be celebrating and sharing stories about each one of their dolphin residence throughout the month of March.

"[We] hope everyday that people come to Gulf World, they come for the experience and leave with a mission to help the dolphins and all the other animals we have here," Tuno said.