Dolphin And Her Baby Rescued After Being Trapped In Pond For 2 Years

July 24, 2023

A mother dolphin and her calf were finally freed after being trapped in a Louisiana pond for an astonishing two years.

dolphin and baby rescued from pond
Credit: Audubon Nature Institute

Wildlife officials believe the mother dolphin and her baby were pushed into the pond system near Grand Isle, Louisiana, during Hurricane Ida in late August 2021.

"It is common for storm surge and increased coastal flooding associated with hurricanes to cause marine mammals and sea turtles to strand on land or be washed into inland waterways where they are not typically observed, such as lakes, ponds, and canals," the Audubon Nature Institute said.

Animals may be found in these areas for weeks to months following a hurricane, requiring rescue by trained and authorized responders. The pond where the mother and calf were found had ample food supplies, salinity and tidal flow but did not have pathways to the Gulf of Mexico.

The Audubon Coastal Wildlife Network (ACWN) has been monitoring the pair for more than a year, waiting for the calf to be old enough to move with his mother to open water.

On June 17th, ACWN and their partners in the Southeast Region Marine Mammal Stranding Network gently captured the mother and baby and used a van to move them home.

The rescue team was coordinated by NOAA Fisheries Service in partnership with ACWN, National Marine Mammal Foundation, SeaWorld Orlando, The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies, Dauphin Island Sea Lab, and South Carolina Aquarium.

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