Dolphin calf freed from plastic debris near Dunedin

Last Updated: Friday, October 16, 2015

A dolphin calf was freed from a tangle of plastic debris near Dunedin Thursday morning.

The calf, which is estimated to be 6 months old, was first reported to the staff of the Clearwater Aquarium last week. The calf was reportedly tangled in plastic, fishing line and other marine debris.

Boaters near the Dunedin Causeway were notified to be on the lookout for the calf.

As more sightings were reported, a rescue team of biologists and veterinarians responded to the Gulf of Mexico near Dunedin to disentangle the dolphin.

The dolphin was captured Thursday morning and the debris was removed while the calf’s mother swam nearby. Once the calf was freed, the two dolphins swam off into the wild with no major injuries.

Officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said that while this story had a happy ending, many do not, and so they are reminding the public that marine debris can be deadly to the animals that live in the sea.

To report dead or injured marine mammals, call 1-877-WHALE-HELP.

The dolphin calf was caught in several pieces of plastic debris, including a packing strip. (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

Members of the team held the dolphin while they worked to free her from the debris. (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

(National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

(National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)