Extensive water search for entangled dolphins ends in success

Staff Writer
The Destin Log
Stranding specialists save dolphin and calf. (The rescue and images are provided under NOAA-license: 932-1905-01/MA-009526-01.)

Marine mammal-stranding groups from various agencies worked together to successfully rescue a bottlenose dolphin and calf last week in Choctawhatchee Bay. The stranding specialists, who worked as a cooperative in this find and rescue effort, were from Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge, NOAA, Sea World, NOS, Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Gulf World, and Dauphine Island.

The successful effort took two days of search and rescue after receiving reports earlier in July of a sighting regarding the entangled pair. After an extensive search to find and hopefully rescue the dolphins, they were located in the bay by the search party where life saving disentanglement took place by the rescuers.

The injuries to the calf were serious, but fortunately not life threatening. Monofilament line causing the entanglement did damage the dolphin’s fins and flukes; however, the calf was able to swim free after the rescue. The adult dolphin was not injured. These images showing successful teamwork by the group of all rescuers illustrate how dedicated, well-trained multi-agencies worked cooperatively to save the lives of these animals that are so valuable and important to a well balanced sea ecology.