Baby dolphin rescue: Watch fishermen free animal snared in 'illegal trap' as mother struggles to keep it afloat
The moment fishermen freed a baby dolphin caught in an "illegal trap" while its mother struggled to keep it afloat has been caught on camera
and live on Freeview channel 276
A baby dolphin snared by its tail in what may have been an illegal trap has made a lucky escape, thanks to two passing fishermen. Jose Ramón Pérez and Miguel Rodríguez were fishing 10 kilometres off the coast of Almería, Spain when they found the animal tangled in a net. The two men first saw the young dolphin's mother, which had been desperately trying to keep her baby afloat - lifting its head above water as the heavy rope threatened to pull it under.
"I saw something floating but it wasn't actually floating at the surface. It was underneath," Mr Pérez told SWNS. "Miguel said it was a dolphin but I thought it was strange because it hadn't moved at all."
He believed the mother dolphin was trying to call them over. "When we got there she didn't leave our side for a second," he said. "She was holding its head up the whole time and the rope was even chewed."
The pair called local authorities, who put them through to Equinac, a local conservation charity - which guided the fishermen on what to do over the phone. The rope was tied to an anchor, but they were able to successfully cut it. The baby appeared injured, Mr Pérez said, but was able to swim off with its mother.
"It was so hard to pull it up. I could feel it chafing our hands as we did it. I could see blood on the dolphin's tail from where the rope had cut it," he said. "They were panicked. The baby was thrashing around and screaming. When it did that the mother seemed like she was scolding it and trying to calm it down," he continued. "I was nervous and I was so sad for the baby. I don't know how long it had been there ... I will remember this for my whole life. It was a truly magical moment."
Equinac coordinator Eva María Morón said: "If those boys hadn't been there, the baby would have died. This animal owes them its life." She believes that the trap was placed there illegally, by a known culprit. "We know who is responsible for the traps and he has been reported to the police," she added. "It's a massive problem that we fight against every day. We find these things every day, [and] not all dolphins live to tell the tale."