A juvenile dolphin found stranded on Grand Isle beach in October is one step closer to being released back into the wild.
The dolphin, which was found on Grand Isle beach on Oct. 26, has been receiving treatment at the Audubon Aquatic Center in New Orleans, the Audubon Nature Institute said in a news release. The dolphin recently underwent a hearing examination to determine if it could communicate and survive in the wild, the news release said.
"We're finding that many marine mammals that strand are actually deaf," said Gabriella Vazquez, Audubon's stranding and rescue coordinator. "They need echolocation to find other pods and food. If they can't hear, they don't have a chance to survive in the wild."
The dolphin passed the hearing test, a significant milestone for determining its prognosis, the news release said.
The dolphin was rescued by the Audubon Nature Institute in partnership with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.