Dolphin Reported Sick Living In Louisiana Canal - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Dolphin Reported Sick Living In Louisiana Canal

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Residents and wildlife officials are concerned about a sick dolphin living in a canal in Slidell, Louisiana.

FOX's Meg Gatto has the story.

On a typical day in this canal behind Lakeshore Estates, boaters and jet skiers have company in the water.

"Every day he could come, under the boats, follow the boats and he was really good to have around for a while," said resident Tony Goutierrez.

We shot this video of the wild dolphin in 2012 living alone in the canal since Hurricane Katrina, the residents of Lakeshore Estates essentially adopted him.

"He came in as a pup, mother was with him, mother disappeared and unfortunately he stayed back," said Goutierrez.

They tried to keep people from feeding him and protected the animal as much as they could as people flocked to the canal hoping for a chance to see him and swim with him. But just last week, they started to notice the dolphin wasn't looking good.

"His skin was covered with green algae and ringworms and sores and things of that nature." said resident Gary Walters.

According to Marine Biologists, salinity levels in the water are low because of recent rainfalls. The dolphin is showing signs of fresh water lesions.

Agents with the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries have been out here monitoring the situation. A spokesperson tells FOX 8 removing the dolphin from this water, would be the option of last resort.

"They said moving the dolphin could cause him more stress than the disease he had," said Walters.

The point may be moot. Greg Walters says he hasn't seen the dolphin all weekend.

"He’s not in the water right now. He's either out there or something’s wrong with him," said Walters.

Many of the people who live along the water here feel attached to the dolphin...after so many years...they're hoping he's ok.

“ it’s sad if indeed something bad happened to the dolphin but if the low salinity levels caused him to relocate where he's out in lake borne with another pod of dolphins, then it could be a happy ending." said Walters.

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