Harbor Porpoise


NAiB-03-04-Pp or "Gus" stranded on March 20th, 2003 on the Outer Banks: Avon, North Carolina. At the time of his stranding, he was 117 cm and weighed 21.8 Kg. (47.96 lbs). It was noted that there were line marks on his body, which means that he may have been entangled.

Virginia Marine Science Museum rescued the porpoise and held it overnight at their facility for stabilization. After the spending the night at VMSM, the porpoise was transported to the National Aquarium in Baltimore for rehabilitation. The porpoise stayed at NAIB until Friday September 5th, 2003 when it was transported to this facility via a ride in a US Coast Guard Falcon jet.

The porpoise is at The Marine Animal Rehabilitation Center (MARC) at University of New England (UNE) in natural seawater. At the time of its transfer to MARC, the porpoise still had a few lesions on its body that the care handlers hoped that the natural seawater used in our pools would helped to heal. Also, the porpoise would be able to acclimate to the natural temperature of the water he would eventually be release into.

The Porpoise, now healthy, measures 129 cm long and weighs 41.6 kgs (91.6 lbs) and is eating approx. 8-9 lbs of herring a day (or roughly 7900 calories/day).

The Porpoise will be released in the Southern Portion of the Gulf of Maine by staff from NAiB and MARC. The United States Coast Guard, Group South Portland, will be assisting with the release by providing the release platform of a UTB 41that will transport the porpoise and animal caretakers out to the release location on January 20th, 2004.

Harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) was tagged and released by researchers with the Virginia Marine Science Museum (VMSM), National Aquarium in Baltimore (NAIB), and University of New England's Marine Animal Rehabilition Center (MARC) .

Additional and more complete data is available in the WhaleNet listerv.

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