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article imageRescue of bottlenose dolphin off the coast of Hawaii (video)

By Anne Sewell     Jan 25, 2013 in Environment
This amazing video, taken during a manta ray dive off the Kona coast of Hawaii, shows a bottlenose dolphin, tied up in fishing line, asking a human diver for help, and the diver carefully freeing him.
On January 11, a group of divers were enjoying a nighttime swim with manta rays off the Kona coast on Hawaii's Big Island.
The tour guide, Keller Laros, told the BBC that it is normal to see dolphins in the area, but they are not normally alone. He became concerned when the dolphin kept circling them repeatedly, and on closer inspection, saw that a fishing line was hooked into the dolphin's fin.
He gestured to the dolphin to come closer, and it did. Then the dolphin waited patiently, with total trust as the diver removed the hook and used scissors to cut the lines, finally allowing the animal to swim away, greatly relieved.
Laros said, "I said, 'come here,' and he swam right up to me," Laros says. "I put my hand out and I was able to get the fishing hook out of his left pectoral fin. The fishing line came from his mouth down through the hook in the left pectoral fin, and then was wrapped all the way around the pectoral fin and it trailed off down the side of the animal."
During the rescue, the dolphin had to surface for air once, but returned so that Laros could complete the job.
A diver rescues a dolphin caught in a fishing line
A diver rescues a dolphin caught in a fishing line
Laros was impressed at the dolphin's foresight, patience and bravery throughout the rescue and said that this provides further evidence of dolphin intelligence.
"It's a huge thrill to be able to help an animal that clearly knows what's going on," he told NBC. "He made the effort to come to us. ... The dolphin is really intelligent. It's a relationship. He came to us because he had a problem."
While the video says that the hook was left in the dolphin's flesh, a note in the description states that the hook and all line were eventually removed from the dolphin.
The video was made by videographer Martina Wing of Manta Rays Hawaii, who said it was a "mind-blowing" experience. The eight-minute YouTube clip above has had nearly 1 million views in its first 10 days online.
At the beginning of the video, it does warn people to take care in situations like this. The warning points out that the divers have had years of experience in this kind of situation. Not everyone could handle the removal of the fishing line and hook as well.
More about bottlenose, Dolphin, Rescue, Hawaii, kona
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