Bottlenose dolphin rescued from drainage canal following Hurricane Ida

October 12, 2021
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Multiple agencies came together following Hurricane Ida to help a bottlenose dolphin in Slidell stuck in a drainage canal. Officials believe the animal was pushed inland through an estuary and became trapped. On September 5th, about a dozen people used nets to corral the dolphin, then carried it to a waiting vehicle with a water tank inside. A veterinarian team examined the animal, and after finding it to be healthy, was given a police escort to Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.

According to the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies, a satellite tag was attached to the dolphin prior to its release, so they will be able to track its movement. Currently the animal is hanging out in Waveland, Mississippi.

The massive rescue effort was nicknamed “Operation Free Flipper” and took part with help from the following agencies: NOAA Fisheries Service, SeaWorld Orlando, SeaWorld San Antonio, The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies, National Marine Mammal Foundation, Alabama Marine Mammal Stranding Network, NOAA Fisheries Office for Law Enforcement, the Slidell Police Department, St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office, St. Tammany Fire Protection District #1, and the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office.

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