Watching Our Water Ways

Environmental reporter Christopher Dunagan discusses the challenges of protecting Puget Sound and all things water-related.
Subscribe to RSS
Back to Watching Our Water Ways

Posts Tagged ‘Oceanic dolphins’

Dolphin rescue touches many hearts

Saturday, February 2nd, 2013

If you haven’t seen it, I think you’ll be impressed with this video, which shows a bottlenose dolphin apparently asking for help from some scuba divers, who noticed the animal tangled in fishing line with a hook imbedded in its fin.

Martina Wing of Ocean Wings Hawaii captured the action, which really begins at 3:30 into the eight-minute video, though the early part sets the scene with some beautiful shots of manta rays. The encounter took place Jan. 11 off the west coast of the Big Island.

Reporter Philip Caulfield of the New York Daily News quoted Keller Laros, the diver who came to the rescue, as saying the dolphin was responsive to his gesture and deliberately moved in close to be helped:

“I noticed he had a fishing wire wrapped around his left fin. I reached out with my left hand … and gestured with my index finger ‘Come here.’ And he swam right up to me. The fact that he seemed to recognize my gesture, that blew me away.”

Laros was able to cut away the line and remove the hook, and the dolphin swam away.

The video has been viewed nearly 2 million times, with more than 2,000 comments posted to the site. I found some observations to be thought-provoking:

DavidKevin: I am overwhelmed.

I have been certain for over 35 years that we shared the planet with another sentient species, the dolphins, and this is just more evidence of it. We don’t have to go off-planet to find an alien species with whom to communicate, we just have to look offshore.

If we cannot learn to communicate with our distant mammalian relatives, we’ll never be able to communicate with true extra-terrestrials, should we ever meet them.

Marvelicious75: We use the word ‘sentient’ in a dialectic manner, but it is quite obviously not accurate. It is arrogance that makes us consider ourselves separate from ‘animals’ like the dolphin. This story isn’t truly surprising in light of the countless stories of dolphins rescuing humans. The only limiting factor is our surprising lack of empathy….

Hobbitfrdo: Sad day for the world if we stopped loving all creatures. Respect to you all.

Russell Laros: The diver cutting the line off in the video is my father. He was really happy to be able to make this connection to the animal and was pretty impressed by it’s intelligence. Apparently this dolphin has been in contact with humans before, though. It has been seen and interacted with workers at a local open ocean fish farm nearby. Still really amazing though….

Misa Eniaki Amane: This dolphin is smarter than all of us…..went up for air and back down to continue with the rescue.

supertekkel1: There are numerous_ ancient stories of dolphins rescuing sailors who went overboard. Whether they are true or not, it’s nice to see that we are finally able to do something to return the favor.

1Irisangel: What a blessing to have captured these moments on film. No words needed, only love and compassion for a fellow traveler on planet Earth. Wonderful capture Martina!

OonaCanute: Now to get rid of all the fishing nets and lines and hooks that kill thousands of dolphins like this beauty every year.

Alex Bruce: The trust the dolphin had in the humans in his time of need is humbling to me. Dolphins are very intelligent creatures and know when to allow man to handle and help them. The men that helped the dolphin have to have felt some sense of pride derived from their kindness and humane actions. I know I did when many years ago I helped rescue a pelican that had a 3-barb hook anchored in its wing and a weight that was attached to the fishing line. He said. “Thank you” in his way and took off in flight :-)

bcmom5: Awesome. It swam around until it found the right person to help it. That person and all who had a hand in it were blessed with Dolphin Medicine which teaches us to get out and breathe, explore, play. Breathe new life into your life. Awesome. :) Thank you for helping and for sharing.

userbc44: What a touching and pure video! I love the part at 4:33 when the diver goes to take off his lights and puts them on the sea floor, the dolphin swims right in front of him as to say, “Theres more! don’t go, here I am!”

POMPCATZ: Wonderful to watch this intelligent creature seek your help and let you finish the job after going up for air. This is just more proof these beautiful. intelligent life forms should not be slaughtered for ignorant tradition and profit.

KillerinExile: Dolphins seem almost sapient. If they’re smart enough to ask for help maybe we shouldn’t be eating and abusing them like we do.

starsbydaylight: … I am sure the majority of people are naturally happy to help distressed animals that keep their calm, sometimes being out of fear unreasonable while being rescued. Once I witnessed a toddler busy carefully rescue a butterfly drowning in a puddle of water. The intelligence of the dolphin and the kind manner of the diver made me cry. In fact the dolphin saved its own life….

flowerseva: This is the ‘Real News’ happening on Planet Earth! Imagine if the 6 o’clock nightly news was filled with these images and emotions – What kind of world would we then be creating??


Rare bottlenose dolphin reported in Puget Sound

Friday, January 7th, 2011

UPDATE, Sunday, Feb. 6:

I’m sorry to report that the bottlenose dolphin we’ve been talking about recently was found dead on a beach near Nisqually. The dead dolphin was spotted Tuesday in the area where it was last seen alive and swimming two weeks previously.

John Calambokidis of Cascadia Research reported that an examination of the animal on Thursday failed to reveal any obvious cause of death. The dolphin was thin, but it clearly did not starve to death. Significant skin lesions were evident, and examiners found hemorrhaging around the jaw. That would be consistent with what would have occurred from thrashing around on the beach.

The animal was a male who had not yet reached maturity.

Tissue samples were fresh enough to be sent away for microscopic examination, and tests will help determine the dolphin’s toxic load. Such pathology may or many not help determine the cause of death.
—–

Cascadia Research is reporting a series of sightings of a bottlenose dolphin in Puget Sound — something that nobody expects to see in the cool waters of the Northwest.

A rare bottlenose dolphin has been sighted swimming around in the cool waters of Puget Sound.
Photo by Josh Oliver, courtesy of WDFW and Cascadia Research.

Does anybody remember Flipper from the television show in the 1960s? Of course, Flipper was a bottlenose dolphin, a creature normally found in tropical waters.

John Calambokidis of Cascadia reports that the dolphin was first spotted in mid-December around the Port of Tacoma. Since then, sightings have been reported in the Redondo Beach near Des Moines and most recently in Budd Inlet near Olympia, where the animal was seen starting Sunday.

Along the West Coast, bottlenose dolphins are typically seen as far north as Central California. Check out the map of its normal range from the American Cetacean Society.

John said he is aware of only two other occurrences of bottlenose dolphins in Puget Sound. The first was an adult male that washed up dead in Samish Bay near Bellingham in 1988. The other one showed up early last year and was seen in various places in South Puget Sound during June. It was assumed that this was the same animal that washed up dead near Steilacoom in Pierce County on July 18.

The dolphin traveling about Puget Sound at this time appears to be in a reasonably fit condition, according to a report on Cascadia’s website, but it does have some kind of skin condition. Cascadia, along with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Northwest Marine Mammal Stranding Network, are continuing to monitor the animal’s movements and condition.

Anyone who spots the dolphin is asked to call Cascadia at (360) 943-7325 or toll-free (800) 747-7329.

Photo by Josh Oliver, courtesy of WDFW and Cascadia Research.


Available on Kindle

Subscribe2

Follow WaterWatching on Twitter

Food for thought

"In the end, we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught."Baba Dioum, Senegalese conservationist

Archives

Categories