In today's local paper and you have to figure that the man who originally had this on, must have come out of the water naked!
Charlotte Sun Herald 8/5/06
Dolphin tangled in Speedo, stripped
Bathing suits: Good for humans, bad for dolphins.
A team of workers from Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota on Thursday undressed a bottlenose dolphin who had been tangled for a month in a man's bikini bathing suit -- a black Speedo, size X-X-X-X-X large.
"I think it's a first for the group here," said Mote spokeswoman Martha Wells on Friday.
Mote researchers estimated the nylon bikini had been tangled on the dolphin for at least 28 days. The dolphin, nicknamed "Scrappy," was seen swimming -- sans Speedo -- in Sarasota Bay on June 29. On July 6, he was observed wearing a suit, said Randall Wells, manager of the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program.
Wells said the entanglement probably took place over the Fourth of July weekend. It was unlikely someone put the suit on as a prank. "It would have been very difficult to do that," Wells said.
"I guess it was debris and the animal somehow got it over his rostrum (beak) and, fortunately, it slid back beyond that," he said.
Had it not, Wells said, "We would not have had a rescue; we would have had a dead dolphin on our hands."
Mote researchers knew Scrappy by his markings -- the nicks and notches on his dorsal fin that make him distinct and recognizable to researchers. He has been in the research program catalog -- among 3,000 other dolphins along Florida's West Coast -- for eight years now, Wells said. Scrappy is thought to be about 10 years old.
Wells said crews had been keeping an eye on Scrappy since he was spotted, and he seemed to be doing well enough. They had hoped the suit would slip off. It didn't.
"His behavior was relatively normal, but it was not something that could last forever," he said.
The problem was that drag on the swimsuit could have caused the nylon to cut the dolphin underneath.
"We couldn't tell what was going on below his body, and there's where we found some major issues," Wells said.
Mote decided to strip Scrappy this week.
On Thursday, 30 people on five boats set out on the task. They found Scrappy 12 minutes after casting off into southern Sarasota Bay, then circled him with a long net. They lifted the bikini-clad dolphin onto a floating pad, then up to an examination boat, Wells said.
The Speedo was cut off and Scrappy's wounds were cleaned. Wells said it looked like the dolphin had slipped through the Speedo's waist and the leg hole.
The suit had cut indeed into Scrappy's pectoral flippers at the point that they attach to the body. The cuts were one-half-inch to three-quarters of an inch deep.
"There was nothing to keep it from continuing into his fins," Wells said. "If left on, it would have continued to saw through his fins and would have killed him."
The naked dolphin was given antibiotics, outfitted with a monitoring device and released back into the bay.
Wells said a crew spotted Scrappy on Friday, and he seemed to be doing just fine.
Wells had this advice for the public: "We need to make sure that we're careful about what we put in the water, because it can have some pretty lethal consequences."