Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network

Dedicated to the conservation of marine mammals through rescue and rehabilitation, research and education.

PI199 - Ranger


Species: Bottlenose Dolphin, Tursiops truncatus
Age Class: Adult
Gender: Male
Date of Stranding: Rescued March 31, 2005
Location of Stranding: Laguna Vista, South Padre Island, TX
Duration of care at TMMSN:
Final Disposition: Released July 2005
PI199 - Ranger

    In 2005, there was a report concerning a bottlenose dolphin that had been seen swimming in a very narrow channel in Laguna Vista South Padre Island. The area surrounding the channel entrance was very shallow - in some areas only a foot deep. Volunteers in the area went out to observe the animal to see if he was able to leave the channel. They reported they did not believe he was able to leave due to the shallow surrounding area.
    A capture and release was planned on March 31, 2005. After one unsuccessful attempt, we were able to rescue the dolphin with about 25 people in the water to assist with the netting of the animal.
    Upon further observation of the animal, it was determined that the animal would need to undergo some rehabilitation, as he was definitely underweight. It was also determined that he was a very young animal. The animal was transported to Port Aransas, where it would undergo rehabilitation. 
    Because he was the only dolphin in the channel - the "lone" dolphin - he was given the name "Lone Ranger." He was in rehabilitation until July of 2005 and then released back into the wild in South Padre Island with ID tags. Reports tell us that he has been spotted and continues to do well.

July 10, 2009- “Ranger” (PI199) was spotted on July 7, 2009 in Port Isabel’s Laguna Madre near the same location he was last seen in 2005. He was traveling with three other dolphins that appeared to be his same age and appeared to be doing very well. His tattoo of R01 that was placed just below his dorsal fin now looks more like P01.