When a passing pedestrian noticed a dolphin in distress in the Banana River near Cape Canaveral earlier this week, a phone call triggered a quick response that helped free it from tangled fishing line.
The male Atlantic bottlenose dolphin had been seen having difficulty swimming and was reported to the Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, according to a SeaWorld news release. After getting approval from the National Marine Fisheries Services, SeaWorld Orlando's rescue team was called for assistance.
On Tuesday, a team of marine animal rescue experts from SeaWorld, Fisheries Services, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Hubbs-SeaWorld arrived at the river, located the young dolphin and successfully removed monofilament line from his tail flukes.
The 300-pound dolphin was also evaluated by SeaWorld Orlando veterinarian Dr. Lara Croft and given long-term antibiotics. After it was determined the dolphin was in stable health, he was returned to the Banana River that same morning.
This is the first bottlenose dolphin to be rescued this year.
SeaWorld animal experts have helped more than 22,000 animals in need -- ill, injured, orphaned and abandoned -- for more than four decades.