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Petting Zoo: Neighbors Save Dolphin Trapped in Net

A group of people in Tampa, Florida stepped up to help a dolphin that was caught in an illegal fishing net. The dolphin's blowhole was just barely above the water and it was struggling to get enough air. Luckily, these neighbors jumped right in to untangle the net the dolphin was able to free itself.

These people acted bravely to rescue the dolphin, but officials want to encourage people to call their local wildlife responders for help first, for their own safety as well as the animals.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation (FWC) determined that the net used was a gill net, which is illegal in Florida (and Ohio too). These swordfish gill nets reach 200 feet below the surface of the ocean, remaining there overnight. In the morning some swordfish are caught, but so are other species like whales, dolphins, turtles, and more. Stories like these can hopefully spread awareness of their dangers and stop people from using these nets.

Alexandra Samame is an intern with the education team at Ideastream Public Media.