OCEAN SPRINGS -- A dolphin has been stuck in a freshwater lagoon in Simmons Bayou for two weeks, and the director of the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies said the animal is in serious distress.
Moby Solangi said the IMMS cannot attempt to rescue the dolphin without permission from the state Department of Marine Resources.
"I don't think it can move out without human help," he said.
Melissa Scallan, DMR spokeswoman, said IMMS handles dolphin rescues because the DMR does not have a place to house a rescued dolphin. The DMR could help contain the area so IMMS could perform a rescue, she said.
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Scallan spoke with Solangi on Friday afternoon, and he told her he's waiting for approval from the National Marine Fisheries Services, a branch of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
NOAA has looked at the dolphin in Ocean Springs and is looking at options to get it out of the bayou, she said.
"Apparently this dolphin is distressed and he (Solangi) is worried about the dolphin, and we certainly understand," she said.
Scallan said IMMS, DMR and NOAA are monitoring the dolphin.
"They're looking for the best options to get the dolphin out of the bayou," she said.
Solangi said the lagoon houses several boats and is near the end of Beachview Drive.
"For the animal to get out, it has to go through a convoluted canal it just isn't able to get through the canal."
Photos taken by Solangi show the fresh water in the bayou is damaging the dolphin's skin, particularly on its face and tail.
"That is skin that is falling apart from freshwater lesions," Solangi said.
Solangi said he predicts the dolphin is suffering from other health problems as well, but he can't be certain until IMMS can rescue it.
"We can't get too close to it," he said. "It's swimming, it's alive, but it's stuck."