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A mother and calf dolphin duo has been released back into the ocean after nearly two years of being stranded in a Louisiana pond near Grand Isle. Wildlife experts believe the pair became trapped there after Hurricane Ida in 2021. Officials theorized that the storm surge and coastal flooding from the hurricane pushed the dolphins into the pond. After the waters receded, they remained stuck with no way back to the ocean.
Source: CBS News/YouTube
The pond was adequately saline, with enough food, and tidal flow for the mother and her baby to survive there. However, the dolphin duo’s natural habitat is the ocean. Luckily, they were rescued from the pond on June 17th. Wildlife experts had been monitoring the pair, and waiting for the calf to be old enough to transport. Finally, a trained team from the Audubon Coastal Wildlife Network and other wildlife experts carefully transported the dolphin duo from the pond back to the ocean. During the commute, the transporters kept the dolphins’ skin from drying out by spraying and sponging them with water. Luckily, dolphins are mammals and therefore did not need to be submerged during transport. After arriving at the ocean, the team carefully released the dolphins into the Gulf.
Experts say it is not uncommon for situations such as this to occur. Hurricanes and other severe storms can push marine creatures into inland waterways where they may become trapped. As hurricanes and other severe weather become more common, such instances may increase. Animals pushed into waterways such as lakes, ponds, and canals can be stuck there for months after hurricanes with no way back to the sea. If you spot a marine mammal in an inland waterway, do not attempt to rescue the animal yourself. Instead, contact wildlife authorities who will be able to properly assist the animal.
If you want to help marine mammals, like this dolphin duo, sign this petition to Get Federal Protection for Endangered Dolphins!
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