SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas, Aug. 17 (UPI) — A dolphin that had been tangled in fishing line for at least three weeks was rescued off the Texas coast by a team of volunteers.
The Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network, which posted photos of the rescue to Facebook, said volunteers with the group were joined by rescuers from Sea World San Antonio and Sea World Orlando under a permit from the National Marine Fisheries Service to capture the dolphin, named Tango.
The dolphin, which was first spotted tangled in fishing gear about three weeks ago, was captured Monday morning off the coast of South Padre Island. Rescuers removed about three pounds of fishing line, hooks, lead weights and other gear from its fins and body. It was given veterinary care before being returned to the wild on Monday.
“Tango has become a bit of a local celebrity as the community pulled together on his behalf but it will be important that the dolphin be left to feed naturally in the wild and not fed by humans. When dolphins are fed, they learn to associate people with food and put themselves in dangerous situations around boats and fishing lines,” the Facebook post said.