Gulfport marine mammals will ride storm out in ‘one of the safest places on the Coast’

Moby Solangi, executive director for the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport, said he has “sheltering in place” as Hurricane Nate is expected to hit the Mississippi Gulf Coast sometime on Saturday night.

“We are keeping the animals here,” Solangi said. “This is one of the safest places on the Coast.”

Solangi is reffering to IMMS headquarters, which is located on the industrial canal at 1081 Dolphin Lane in Gulfport Bayou Bernard.

“This building is 23 feet above sea level and we think it’s a very safe place to keep our animals during the storm,” he said.

He said he currently has six sea lions and two dolphins under his care.

“These mammals will have care 24 hours a day, and we have back up generators should the power go out,” Solangi said. “I see no problems whatsoever.”

Solangi, who worked at Marine Life Oceanarium on the Gulf on U.S. Highway 90 in Gulfport during Hurricane Katrina, said his current location is much more conducive during a storm that his old location.

“During Katrina, we had to move some of the animals to hotel swimming pools alomng Highway 90,” he said. “Our new location is the kind of place where they will be very safe and secure.”