In December 2008, Ginger, a recently independent juvenile female dolphin, stranded on Siesta Key Beach. SDRP staff was among the first responders, stabilizing her before she was taken to Mote Marine Laboratory and treated for complications from the stranding.
Ginger was a dolphin already known by SDRP, and at the time of her stranding she had been seen 129 times in the wild since her birth in 2005.
- Her mother is dolphin F127 and that she separated from mom at the end of May 2008, just before her mother gave birth to another calf we nicknamed Wasabi. Ginger’s mom, F127, was 13 when Ginger stranded.
- Ginger was her mother’s first calf.
- Ginger’s grandmother, FB13, wasalso a long-term resident of Sarasota Bay who was first observed in 1975. She died in 2009 at age 50.
During her rehabilitation, the team caring for her didn’t want her to get used to eating dead fish provided by humans, to keep her from becoming habituated to being fed that way. By the time Ginger was released, she had eaten nearly 4,000 live pinfish. Ginger’s story — and the efforts volunteers went through to support her live diet, inspired Mote and SDRP Volunteer Cathy Marine to write a children’s book in 2015 called “No Dead Fish for Ginger! The Story of a Sarasota Bay Dolphin.” Proceeds from the sale of the book support our dolphin research.
Before her release, we radio-tagged Ginger and closely monitored her for two months post-release until the tag transmissions ceased as planned. We continue to see her to this day during our our monthly population monitoring surveys and we know that she has had three calves to date as of December 2020.
If you want to hear what Ginger actually sounds like, visit her “Meet the Dolphins” page.