Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network

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


See more Toby on the TMMSN YouTube Channel !

June 14, 2010 Update - Toby Has Adjusted to His Home in Florida

TMMSN volunteer Kim Basset recently visited Toby at Theatre of the Sea in Florida and sent these pictures for his fans to enjoy. Thanks Kim!

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Photos courtesy of TMMSN volunteer Rod Leger

October 30, 2009

Toby is reportedly doing great at TOTS. He has been doing plenty of exploring and learning. The staff says that they are having a blast with him and are already attached to their new resident. They continue to mention how smart and playful he is! Check out the pictures below:

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August 24, 2009

Good News!  The transport went well and Toby has made it safe and sound to his new home at Theater of the Sea(TOTS).  He has been exploring his natural salt water lagoon which has lots of coral and other new things to check out.  He has already eaten 2 lbs. of fish and is spending time at the gate with his new dolphin friends.

Toby is located in the middle lagoon and shares a fence on one side with some little boys and the other side houses several females and a new calf.  Toby has been approaching the fence and mouthing at the other dolphins.  Oddly enough, the new calf that TOTS has been anticipating was born at the exact moment that Toby's plane landed!  There will be an overnight watch of both the calf and Toby.  We'll be in touch soon with another update on Toby at his new home and hopefully some photos as well.

Thank you to Moody Gardens Staff and all of the TMMSN volunteers that made this transport happen today.

August 21, 2009

We have news regarding Toby's transfer to Theater of the Sea! The transport is currently scheduled for this Monday, August 24th. Toby will be leaving on a chartered flight Monday morning from Scholes airport in Galveston and will fly straight to Marathon Key. Once landed, he will make a short 30 mile trip to his final destination and new home.

We have heard some amazing things from many people about the facility's enrichment program and animal care staff and we are very happy that he will have such good care. Toby would not have made it to this point without his volunteers and we thank you for all of the long hours and incredible dedication you have given him over the last 9 months. He has come such a long way from his stranding and we congratulate you on a job well done!

August 08, 2009 - Dear Toby Supporters,

I know we've all been very anxious over the last few weeks to find out where Toby's new home will be and we finally received the news!

Toby will be moving to Theater of the Sea Marine Mammal Park, which is located in Islamorada, Florida Keys. You can read more about Toby's new home here. I know we will all be relieved and excited to see Toby interact with other dolphins once again and TMMSN can't thank you enough for your help in getting Toby to this point. We will be working with the facility to make plans and any further details regarding the transfer process will follow as soon as they become available.

July 09, 2009 - We have received word from NMFS regarding Toby’s future. After taking into consideration the stranding, medical and behavioral history of Toby including the options for long term rehabilitation and release, NMFS has determined that Toby is non-releasable.

They are recommending that Toby be placed with other animals for social interaction as soon as possible. Facilities that are interested in caring for Toby permanently will have to meet a special set of criteria to address Toby’s specific needs. As always, Toby’s interests will come first and foremost and we will now be working with NMFS to find the best and most appropriate place for Toby so that he can be transferred as soon as possible. For everyone that is working with Toby, keep up the good work as we are nearing the end. It will be bittersweet to see him go, but we will all enjoy the time we have left with him. Stay posted!

July 02, 2009 - Toby was in the news recently.  Here's a couple of links to his media articles:

Channel 11

Houston Chronicle

July 01, 2009 - “Toby” (CC258) has been in rehabilitation with TMMSN since his stranding seven months ago. Toby has made so much progress and continues to do well. Volunteers are commenting on what a big boy he has become and we are quite proud of his antics. He is currently off of medication but still considered under treatment. We are awaiting further determination from NMFS regarding Toby’s future and will let you know when we receive further word.

We would like to ask for your continued assistance with volunteering and/or donations towards Toby’s care. We know that seven months of around the clock rehabilitative care can be trying and tiresome for volunteers and realize most of us have very busy schedules. This is one of the many reasons why we appreciate you so much! We see many of you day after day, week after week and we are so thankful that people like you are here for this dolphin. If you are able to fit even one four hour shift into your schedule a week to sit with Toby, this could make all of the difference. We need your help so please call Toby’s pool phone today to sign up for your shift.

Or, if you are not able to work a shift, donating supplies is a wonderful way to support Toby. A list of supplies that we are going through quickly is below:

3" Pool Chlorine Tablets
Clorox Bleach
Bathroom Cleaner
Kitchen Trash Bags
Disinfectant Wipes
Paper Towels
Antibacterial Dishwashing Soap
Empty Spray Bottles (preferably heavy duty type)
Rubbermaid 10-18 gal. containers
TOYS for TOBY: Marine Buoys (med/large), Frisbee, Jolly Ball. For other items, please contact us for any restrictions on toys.

Or, you may consider making a tax-deductible donation directly towards the care of Toby by clicking here.

Thank you!

May 15, 2009 - Toby is still doing well in rehabilitation.  His last set of thoracic radiographs showed great improvement from those at stranding and his blood values are stable.  He has gained over 80 pounds since he arrived and eats the dead fish offered at each meal vigorously.  We are still completing additional trials in order to entice him to eat live fish. 

Toby continues to spend the majority of his day playing actively with toys and peering out the window at volunteers.  He is engaged at husbandry sessions and improves daily.  We are currently in the process of completing suggestions given by NMFS on our last conference call regarding Toby and we hope to make a recommendation concerning his disposition soon.  The volunteers continue to do a great job and we thank them for their continued dedication to Toby and TMMSN.

April 08, 2009 - Toby, the young male bottlenose dolphin who stranded on November 21st, 2008 is still in rehab with TMMSN at this time. He seems to be doing very well and it has been an encouragement to see the great improvements he has made through his rehab process. Toby is still on one remaining antibiotic and we are evaluating radiographs taken last Friday to see what our next step will be. A determination has not been made by National Marine Fisheries Service as to his release status at this time.

Toby has the personality of a young boy with curiosity, persistence, and enjoys his playtime very much. His “toy box” of enrichment devices grows every day and he explores what he can do with something new each day as well. During play, he begins rapid bursts of swim followed by breaches, spy-hops and side slaps.

His latest activities include bouncing any type of rubber or beach ball off of his melon repeatedly, riding around on his pool noodles, diving with buoys in his mouth to see if he can sink them, hanging out and swimming/jumping through his beloved hula hoop and much more. The dive rings and frisbees still seems to be a favorite as well. If he ever gets frustrated with his toys, he just gives them a little swat with his tail flukes.

To reduce stress during procedures as well as boredom, we started a very basic husbandry program for him. He is a fast learner and is engaged throughout the sessions. It is truly a joy and a privilege to be involved with Toby’s rehabilitation, so be sure to sign up for your observation shifts today.  Thank you for all of your hard work and support!

February 27, 2009 - Our veterinarian has resumed a modified regimen of medicine and antibiotics.  Toby is still very actively playing but he is exhibiting some symptoms and behavior that we continue to keep an eye on.  We will keep you informed with updates as often as possible.  Please check out the latest Toby Slideshow with close-up of Toby's healed shark bites and play activities.

February 14, 2009 - Toby continues to eat well and has been removed from antibiotics over the past few weeks. Toby’s veterinarians continue to monitor blood values to ensure his stability off medication at this time.

Behaviorally, he seems to be doing well and has become very playful. He seems to take notice of a new toy each day and explores all of the different games he can play with them. For example, he has developed a juggling act of carrying dive rings on his rostrum while balancing others on his flukes, pec fin and melon. A new favorite is to wear his Frisbee around on his head as a hat while underwater. When he surfaces to exhale, his frisbee flies off and he "puts it back on" after he dives.

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  Breaking apart pool noodle configurations and knocking around balls in the pool has also become a favorite past time. As always, his rope rubbing continues and seems to be a favorite.

Over the next few weeks, Toby will be evaluated for release but he must meet NMFS criteria before a recommendation can be made, which is to maintain stable blood values off medication and feed on live fish.

We have introduced live fish over the past two weeks.  Toby has not pursued and eaten any live fish yet, but we will continue to work with him on this. We want to thank all of the TMMSN volunteers who are working with Toby and encourage you to keep up your efforts in this amazing process. We also want to thank our supporters for their donation of their time, money, and materials.  For anyone interested in donating towards Toby's needs please see our wish list. 3" chlorine pucks are an ongoing necessity.

January 18, 2009 - “Toby”, our patient now temporarily at Moody Gardens while we repair the Aquacell, continues to progress in the rehabilitation process. The TMMSN volunteers that are working with him have noticed that he has become more active and playful over the last several days.

Although he was quite emaciated at stranding, he’s become a great eater and continues to pack on the pounds! He has grown stronger and his values have become more stable, so we are in the process of weaning him from his medication and monitoring him carefully. We will keep you posted on this process.

TMMSN volunteers have done a great job so far of making sure he has 24 hour observation around the clock and we need your continued support with this.

If you are not a trained TMMSN volunteer and you have not yet met Toby, please stay tuned to the volunteer page of this website where we will post the next training day date as soon as it is confirmed.  If you are already working with Toby, we can’t thank you enough and keep up the good work!

Please visit our wish list with interactive links.

January 4, 2009 - “Toby” (CC258) made it to Galveston safe and sound yesterday evening.  His transport went smoothly and we thank everyone that was involved.  TMMSN will continue his rehabilitation here in Galveston.  We will keep you posted.

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Above: Moving Day for Toby.  Pictures courtesy Mike Baird of CC Caller Times.  Link to his article at upper right.

December 2, 2008 Update - Toby’s condition continues to improve and he is now self-feeding. He is very vocal and expresses himself when experiencing anything new. He has learned to like the rub rope that gave him some trepidation when we first put it in. Now he is rubbing regularly.

Diagnostics have been completed including x-rays and endoscopy to give us a better idea into his condition and the cause of stranding.  We will keep you posted. 

November 21, 2008 -  A live bottlenose dolphin stranded in Corpus Christi, TX. The TMMSN Corpus Christi volunteer team recovered the dolphin and transported him to the Sea Lab at Texas State Aquarium where the TMMSN will begin rehabilitation. He began swimming on his own Friday evening but still remains in critical care at this time.

The young dolphin is estimated at 3-4 years of age and has been named "Toby". We will keep you posted on Toby's condition over the next few weeks!

The photo slideshow below is courtesy of Lynette Bodmer of .NET Photography, TMMSN volunteer. We also want to thank the staff of Moody Gardens, NOAA, NMFS, and Scholes Airport for their cooperation in a smooth and safe transport for Toby.

View a slideshow of Toby's Transport to Galveston from Corpus Christi below: (Courtesty of TMMSN CCT Volunteer Lauren Wilson)




View Toby's Moving Day Video

Article about Toby's move in Corpus Christi Caller Times

Article about Toby's initial stranding in the CC Caller Times

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