[font=Courier New]8 BOTTLENOSE DOLPHINS FOUND OFF GULFPORT Tue Sep 13 2005 19:59:07 ET
Eight bottlenose dolphins that were washed out of their Mississippi aquarium pool during Hurricane Katrina have been found alive, huddled together in the fetid waters off Gulfport, Miss, the BOSTON GLOBE will report on Wednesday.
Now, deeply worried about the dolphins' chances of survival, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officials and aquarium biologists are racing to rescue the weak and wounded animals - some of which have never before ventured into the wild.
"These animals found us, they came back after Katrina ... they came home," said Moby Solangi, president of the Marine Life Oceanarium in Gulfport. "All eight are together. It's the most wonderful news."
Established in 1956, the facility suffered catastrophic damage in the storm. Along with the dolphins, 19 sea lions were swept out of their pools when a giant storm surge engulfed the Oceanarium. Five of them are still missing.