Since Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium opened our animal hospitals full-time back in the 1990s, our dedicated and talented staff members have been able to return a number of dolphins and sea turtles to the wild. These animals — which would have died without our intervention — are now back in the wild helping to ensure the survival of their populations. But sometimes, animals cannot be returned to the wild.
Most of you have met Moonshine, our pantropical spotted dolphin that was stranded in the Florida Keys in 2003. Moonshine was found severely dehydrated, suffering from pneumonia and a sunburn so severe, that his sores cut to the bone. His dorsal fin will always have a slight slant because of the way these wounds healed. Though Moonshine’s severe wounds have healed, we found a chronic liver condition that prevents us from releasing him to the wild. We care for him with the deepest commitment, for his medical, social and therapeutic needs.
At Mote, we also care for a number of sea turtles that cannot return to the wild. Hang Tough, one of our green sea turtles, first came to us in 1992 as a patient. He was blind in both eyes, making it impossible to return him to the wild. Today, Moonshine, Hang Tough and others are ambassadors for their species, helping us to teach people about them and their lives at sea.
Mote’s animal hospitals — and the permanent homes we provide for some — are supported in large part by philanthropic dollars. Without support from our donors we would not be able to care for and rehabilitate injured and sick animals that so desperately need our care.
Our animal hospitals are just one example of the many ways that Mote makes a difference in the world. I am pleased to share with you our 2013 Annual Report, available here, which provides a more comprehensive view of our work at Mote. Help us to sustain our exceptional research, education and conservation initiatives that allow us to understand, protect and save some of the most treasured resources and species in our planet by investing in our Annual Fund, Waves of Support. A gift of _____ will help us continue to make the world a better place. To donate please visit us at __________ or call 941-388-4441 ext. 415 for assistance.
Thank you for your ongoing and critically important support of Mote. Together we are advancing important objectives and achieving great results.
Michael P. Crosby, Ph.D., FLS
President & CEO