Scrappy, born in 1998, is the calf of Scooby-Doo (who was given her nickname before we knew she was a she). He has been sighted hundreds of times since birth, but we remember him most for one of our 2006 sightings when we found him entangled in marine debris — a piece of fabric encircling his body between his blowhole and front fins.
We followed his activities in the wild very closely to see whether he would shed the fabric on his own. After several weeks, when it became apparent the entanglement wasn’t going anywhere, we mounted a rescue (with permission of the National Marine Fisheries Service).
While all such interventions are notable, this one was especially so, given what we discovered when we removed the marine debris on Scrappy… turns out, it was a black XL men’s Speedo bathing suit — a find that eventually made its way to the national news, including National Public Radio’s quiz show “Wait, Wait – Don’t Tell Me.”
We’re glad to report that we were able to successfully remove the swimsuit, had veterinarians assess his condition on site and sent him happily along his way — swimming in the nude, as it were.
We have monitored Scrappy since his rescue and continue to see him in Sarasota Bay during our monthly population surveys.
Now 22 years old, Scrappy and C835 appear to be forming a male alliance, having been seen together several times in 2020.
While the debris that entangled Scrappy was rather unique in our experience, marine debris entanglements are no laughing matter (as you can see from the pictures of Scrappy’s wound.) Please be sure to follow our dolphin safety tips and always, always stash your trash!