A group of four dolphins that was stranded for days in a canal in St. Petersburg, Florida was rescued Tuesday after volunteers formed a human chain to help free them.
The dolphins, including two calves, were trapped in a canal near the Fossil Park neighborhood since Sunday. Experts believe that the height and sound of a bridge nearby acted as a barrier to the dolphins.
"We're able to keep that chain together," said Andy Garrett, a biologist with the Florida Fish Wildlife Conservation Commission. "The dolphins were interested, they actually came over right away, and kind of investigated."
Dolphins use echolocation to navigate in the water. Emitting high-frequency sounds, dolphins interpret the echoes of sound waves that bounce off of objects to find their way around.
When FWC officials were first alerted on Sunday, the dolphins did not appear distressed. Officials waited to see if the dolphins would swim out with the tide.
But after a day passed and the dolphins were still stranded, FWC officials mapped the canal and waterways to come up with a plan to free the dolphins.
The rescue team partnered with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Clearwater Marine Aquarium to wade into the canal and herd the dolphins out. Forming a human chain, the rescuers used sounds and vibrations to direct the dolphins into Riviera Bay.
It took 45 minutes from when the chain entered the water to when the dolphins swam away under the bridge. Everything went according to plan -- the rescuers did not have to use nets or any items that could stress the dolphins.
- Rescuers used a human chain to save a group of dolphins stranded in a Florida canal
- After 5 Months Stuck In A Drainage Ditch, Rescuers Save Coco The Dog
- Bodycam captures dramatic rescue of man in Lake Michigan using 'human chain'
- Former Florida police officer convicted in shooting death of stranded motorist
- A teenager died trying to save his family from a car that plunged into a Delaware canal
- Canal Days Festival kicks off Tuesday in New Haven
- Volunteers work to change lives of dogs being chained outside
- Nestlé plans to reduce greenhouse gases across its supply chain
- A deadly mosquito-borne virus that causes brain swelling in humans has been detected in Florida
- Group of felons rebuild Florida man's home destroyed during Hurricane Michael