TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A disabled dolphin recently returned to Pine Island in Lee County following Hurricane Ian, and he’s actually a local celebrity.
According to NBC 2, the dolphin is commonly referred to as “Uno.”
The dolphin became known when a video made rounds on social media, showing him getting a little too close for comfort to a woman with her feet in the water.
“He has been here for 10 to 12 years, and he comes up to the dock, we always say ‘hi’ to him, he plays around with us…” said resident Gracie Anderson told NBC 2.
The dolphin is missing one of its pectoral fins, which the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) cauterized to help Uno.
“They let nature take its course, it fell off a couple months later, and he has been out here ever since,” said Anderson.
She said it was a relief to see that Uno had survived Hurricane Ian.
“Very happy to see her back, we were kinda worried because the first couple days after Hurricane Ian, there was nobody, no manatees, no osprey, nothing,” Anderson said.
According to FWC, you should never feed a wild dolphin. The people of Pine Island just enjoy Uno’s company.
“I bet he’s one of the most popular people out here,” Anderson said.