Feb 2, 2023
A stranded bottlenose dolphin made it safely back to sea, thanks to the efforts of over 30 biologists and volunteers in Clearwater, Florida. The people plunged into the water to help coax the animal to safety.
Common bottlenose dolphins can be found all over the world. They stay in groups known as pods. It’s far less likely that one would be spotted alone in a canal. That's why reports of a stranded dolphin worried biologist Brittany Baldrica.
"He was … ok,” Baldrica told Fox 13 News. "(But) being in such a small area with a residence around … we were concerned ...”
Baldrica was worried humans might harass the mammal. Separation from a pod can impact a dolphin’s ability to hunt. Also, canals are often busy with boat traffic.
To bring the dolphin to safer waters, Baldrica called on fellow biologists to help. Together, they formed a chain and entered the water. The group hoped to create a “wall of sound” to drive the dolphin toward a small gap in a bridge and the open bay beyond.
“The goal was to not put hands on the animal. The goal was to just be a barrier that was novel to the animal,” Baldrica explained.
After a few hours, they managed to guide the dolphin to freedom.
Photo by Kiloueka courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
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