Two Brazilian fisherman came across a baby dolphin alone and wrestling with a big plastic bag wrapped around one of his fins. After numerous attempts, the kind fishermen netted the distressed dolphin and were able to remove the offending plastic. The fishermen then released the pint-sized dolphin into the sea and immediately the little guy jumps out of the water with a joyful and seemingly grateful nod to his rescuers. Listen closely and you will even hear an adorable squeak and squeal.
Maybe we are anthropomorphizing (layering human emotions on other animals), but dolphins are incredibly intelligent animals and personally, I have no doubt that this little guy is thanking his rescuers. What do you think?
In another extraordinary dolphin-human encounter, a second video below shows manta rays and a single wild dolphin swimming very close to divers in Hawaii. The dolphin seems to be asking one diver for help, as it is soon clear that the dolphin has fishing line and a hook dangerously wrapped around his mouth and fin.
With a little effort and a knife, the diver is able to remove the fishing line and the grateful dolphin is able to swim free.
In both of the cases described here, dolphins asked for help and humans came to the rescue, but obviously human activity and waste entangled the dolphins in the first place. Every year, millions of marine mammals die due to human debris finding its way into our oceans. Balloons with or without ribbon attached, plastic six-pack holders, fishing line, plastic bags, food wrappers, tin foil and thousands of other items that are blown out to sea can easily end the life of an innocent animal — and usually in a very slow and painful way.
Please always contain your trash wherever you go, but especially near oceans. Take an extra step to protect our sea critters by picking up any trash you see along beaches and in the water, whether it is yours or not. That simple little act could save one or more lives. If you do see a sea animal in distress please call NOAA at 800-853-1964 and your local authorities.