After nearly two weeks trapped in an irrigation canal in Sinaloa, a pair of bottlenose dolphins are finally free thanks to the efforts of rescue teams. The two marine mammals entered the canal via the Bay of Altata, ending up in Sataya, a community in the municipality of Navolato.
Water levels were high after heavy rains two weeks ago but as the water dropped, the dolphins were left stranded in the canal.
Wildlife advocate Arturo Islas said that deep mud and the presence of crocodiles complicated initial rescue efforts. At least 10 days had passed by the time a team of rescuers from the Ostok Foundation and the company Dolphin Discovery were able to catch the first dolphin, which was three meters long and estimated to be 30 years old.
After much effort, the team caught it and transported it in a large tub to the Bay of Altata, where it was set free.
It took two more days to locate and catch the second dolphin, which had moved from the area where it was first seen.
“It is an animal of approximately 20 years of age and more than 300 kilos, male, and apparently in good health,” reported Ernesto Zazueta, president of the Association of Zoos, Breeders, and Aquariums.
He said the Culiacán Zoo’s wildlife rescue team, Arturo Islas and the Ostok Foundation, among others, participated in the rescue. The second dolphin was set free in El Contrabando, a fishing camp near the state capital of Culiacán.