This past March the Morris Animal Foundation (MAF) established the Betty White Wildlife Rapid Response Fund designed to give wildlife researchers monetary aid in times of disaster. In wake of the devastating Deepwater Horizon accident, MAF has announced that the first grant will provide immediate funds to begin research regarding the long-term effects that the oil spill will have on bottlenose dolphins in the Gulf.
“There is a long history of research on this population of dolphins,” says Patricia Olson, DVM, PhD, president/CEO of MAF. “This project has a great chance of documenting the effects of severe and chronic oil pollution in this species and many more animals affected by pollution found in the ocean.”
Sarasota Bay off the Gulf of Mexico is home to approximately 160 bottlenose dolphins, spanning five generations. Experts indicate that the oil and chemicals used during the clean up process could have profound effects on the health, behavior, and reproductive success of the area dolphins.
To contribute to the Betty White Wildlife Rapid Response Fund visit www.firstgiving.com/MAFrapidresponse. Betty White, a Morris Animal Foundation trustee for more than 40 years, promised to match up to $25,000 of all donations made.