NewsPinellas County


Rescuers save juvenile dolphin in Clearwater and take it to safety

Injured baby dolphin in Clearwater
Posted at 1:58 PM, Jul 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-20 23:41:47-04

CLEARWATER, Fla. — The Clearwater Fire and Rescue department worked Wednesday to help an injured juvenile dolphin under Pier 60.

Clearwater Fire and Rescue said their lifeguards were on the scene when they saw an adult dolphin circling around in shallow water. When lifeguards went to check, they found the young dolphin tangled in the remnants of a crab trap.

"When the lifeguards paddled out and when he arrived in the area, he found with a smaller dolphin that was wrapped up in some rope that was wrapped up to a piling of the pier," said Patrick Brafford, a lifeguard manager with Clearwater Fire and Rescue.

Lifeguards worked to remove the rope of a crab trap and then called the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

Rescuers hoped the adult dolphin, and possibly the mother dolphin, would come back to help the juvenile dolphin, but that didn't happen.

" We did everything we could to reunite this animal with its mother in the wild. Unfortunately, after multiple attempts to release this animal it was not making its way out on its own," said Emily Storrs, a veterinary technician at Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

The Clearwater Marine Aquarium's Rescue Team attempted to release the dolphin, but the animal then began swimming towards the shore and was struggling to swim in the open water. The Southeast Stranding Network and NOAA had the dolphin transported to SeaWorld for rehabilitation.

The Clearwater Marine Aquarium encourages people to report distressed or stranded animals by calling the 24-hour rescue hotline at (727-441-1790 ext. 1).