Sick, sunburned bottlenose dolphin rescued in Fla.

Posted at 10:49 PM, Jun 15, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-15 22:49:00-04

MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. (AP) - A sunburned bottlenose dolphin is recovering after being stranded in a thick bed of seagrass.

SeaWorld Orlando staff rescued the adult male bottlenose dolphin Thursday at the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.

The dolphin weighed about 350 pounds and measured eight feet long and was suffering from severe sun exposure and another unknown sickness.

Florida Today reports the dolphin was taken to SeaWorld's Orlando facility and is currently in stable condition and eating.

SeaWorld's staff has responded to 47 stranded dolphins this year in that area, which is about twice the usual rate. Most of the dolphins have been dead and emaciated.

Federal wildlife officials are investigating.