28 People Form Human Chain To Rescue Dolphin From Creek

January 27, 2023

More than two dozen people teamed up to rescue a dolphin trapped in a creek in Clearwater, Florida.

human chain save dolphin
Credit: Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Brittany Baldrica, a senior rescue biologist with Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA), said neighbors called about a dolphin swimming alone in the creek on Jan. 1.

A team from the aquarium monitored the dolphin for about 18 days and he didn't leave the creek.

"This posed potential long-term problems for the animal, such as isolation from other dolphins and an increased risk of harassment and human interactions. Therefore, NOAA determined it would be in the animal's best interest to intervene to help the animal leave the area," CMA said in a statement.

To get back into the open water the dolphin had to swim through a small opening under a bridge. The dolphin seemed afraid to go through this opening.

human chain save dolphin
Credit: Clearwater Marine Aquarium

A team of 28 rescuers formed a human chain to create a visual and sound barrier to guide the animal under the bridge and back to safety towards Tampa Bay.

"The goal was to not put hands on the animal. The goal was to just be a barrier that was novel to the animal, so we wanted to create a physical barrier as well as an auditory barrier, so we had somebody behind us that was banging on a boat, revving their engine and then we were splashing the water and moving forward towards the animal, so we were giving the animal the option to swim through the bridge on its own," Baldrica said.

"We're thankful to the residents in the area who worked with us to help protect the animal from harassment and provided access to their property while we monitored and rescued the animal," CMA said in a press release.

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