Earlier today (Monday, August 15), the SeaWorld Orlando Rescue Team (after a 2-day trek across the country) met up with the SeaWorld San Antonio Rescue Team where they both joined forces with The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and members of the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network to help rescue a bottlenose dolphin that was found entangled in fishing gear near South Padre Island in Texas.
After hours of searching, the devoted rescue teams retrieved the dolphin and removed more than three pounds of fishing gear that entangled the animal, including hooks, leaders, fishing line and more.
Once the dolphin was rescued and detangled, a SeaWorld Veterinarian and Animal Care Staff assessed the animal, gave it a complete physical checkup, took blood samples and cultures and gave the dolphin antibiotics for possible infection due to the entanglement. The animal was released back in to the ocean.
Entanglement in fishing gear and similar items can lead to suffocation or internal bleeding if hooks and lures are swallowed by the animal. To help prevent harm to wild dolphins and other animals, it is best to dispose of old line and hooks properly and be mindful of fishing locations where animals are known to surface to breathe, so they do not become caught in cast lines.
The public can always assist injured marine animals by calling the local Marine Mammal Stranding Network. The Florida Marine Mammal Stranding Hotline number is 1-888-404-3922. Immediately report entangled, injured, or dead marine mammals to 1-877- WHALE HELP (1-877-942-5343).
PHOTOS: © 2016 Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network. All rights reserved.