Team rescues dolphin calf in Florida river

Published On: Feb 20 2013 05:43:49 PM EST
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

A rescue team assembled Wednesday morning to rescue and disentangle a dolphin calf swimming in the St. Johns River with a reddish-orange object wrapped around its head near its dorsal fin.

The team consisting of 40 people using seven boats found the dolphin at about 11 a.m. just east of Blount Island.

The dolphin mom and calf were swimming with a larger pod of dolphins.

The team waited for an opportunity to separate the pair from the group and move into shallower waters.

Rescuers set the net around the mom and calf and removed an Aerobie, similar to a Frisbee, from around the calf's head. A veterinarian evaluated both, treated the calf's wound with some antibiotics and determined that the dolphin could be released back into the wild.

Then at about 11:30 a.m., both were released together. The pair swam off together and rejoined their pod.

Rescuers said the Aerobie was cutting into the dolphin's body, so without removal, as the dolphin calf grows, it could have created a potentially life-threatening situation for the dolphin.

Ten agencies participated in the rescue.

To report a sick, injured or dead marine mammal, immediately call the Southeast Region Stranding Network 24-hour hotline at 877-WHALE HELP (877-942-5343).

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