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Human Chain Formed by Florida Biologists to Save Stranded Dolphin

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When a dolphin got lost and swam up a Florida canal, no less than 30 biologists and volunteers formed a human chain to block its passage further up the waterway.

Their efforts saw the dolphin flee the canal out into Tampa Bay, saving it from a life of losing its ability to fend for itself and eventually ending up as an aquarium resident.

Brittany Baldrica, a senior rescue biologist with Clearwater Marine Aquarium, got a call that a dolphin was hanging about in a canal in Clearwater, Florida. The caller was concerned that it was hurt or lost, as after four days, it had not moved beyond a small stretch of the artificial waterway.

The Marine Mammal Protection Act stipulates that feeding or harassing marine mammals like manatees, dolphins, or whales is illegal, however Baldrica had just recently rehabilitated a dolphin named Izzy who had been fed by humans after a boat strike left her stranded in a canal for so long that she forgot how to hunt.

She told a local Fox affiliate that following the call they monitored the dolphin for 18 days.

“He was behaviorally ok at that point and then upon talking to other people within the residency, they had said the animal may have been there for at least four days, so we were just concerned he got separated from other animals,” Baldrica said.

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