CLEARWATER BEACH, Fla. — Marine officials on Wednesday rescued a baby dolphin that was trapped in a crab trap near a west Florida beach.
The dolphin was stuck in the trap off Clearwater Beach and was taken to SeaWorld in Orlando, Clearwater Marine Aquarium officials said in a Facebook post.
Law enforcement officials notified the aquarium of a distressed animal at about 12 p.m. EDT, the Tampa Bay Times reported. The mammal was separated from its mother and was suffering from low energy and abnormal breathing, according to the newspaper.
A lifeguard cut the calf free, but the dolphin began swimming toward the shore and was struggling to swim in the open water, aquarium officials wrote on Facebook.
“Our team was out there in hopes that the mom would return for her calf,” aquarium spokesperson Kelsy Long told the Times. “Unfortunately, that did not happen.”
Long added that the Southeast Stranding Network and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration told officials to transport the dolphin to SeaWorld for rehabilitation at about 3:30 p.m. EDT, aquarium officials wrote on Facebook.
“When you see an animal in distress, make sure you call for help and don’t approach that animal on your own,” Long told the Times.
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