A group of four dolphins stranded for days in a St. Petersburg, Florida canal found help when fourteen volunteer rescuers formed a human chain and got them to safety.
The dolphins—two mothers, a calf, and a juvenile—had been trapped in the canal since Sunday. A video captured the rescuers, who are with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, forming a chain to assist the dolphins. You can see the rescuers splashing in order to create sounds and vibrations that would direct the dolphins out of the canal and into the bay.
Because dolphins use echolocation to navigate, experts think that the height and sound of a nearby bridge made the dolphins think they could not breach such a barrier or caused them to be wary of the structure.
Rescue teams from @CMAquarium & @MyFWC formed a human chain to coax four dolphins out of a canal in St. Pete. Biologists believe they made their way down the canal from Tampa Bay on Sunday but didn’t go back out because they were scared of the bridge at 4th St near 77th Ave @BN9 pic.twitter.com/GC7Yyd7iGs
— Jorja Roman (@JorjaRoman) September 17, 2019
FWC officials noticed the dolphins on Sunday but waited to see if they would swim out with the tide or become distressed. After a day passed, the dolphins had still not escaped the bay. FWC then decided to come up with a plan to herd the dolphins back to sea.