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Harbor Branch researcher suspended for putting dolphin in swimming pool


A prominent dolphin researcher has been suspended from rescuing dolphins after he allegedly put a sick bottlenose dolphin in a Vero Beach resort community’s swimming pool – without permission – potentially exposing people to infection.

Steve McCulloch, founder and program manager of FAU Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute’s Marine Mammal Research and Conservation program, had been rescuing a dolphin on the beach in front of the resort on Dec. 28. He moved the dolphin from the beach to the pool, federal officials said, before transporting it to a local veterinary clinic for euthanasia.

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