A pair of dolphins that spent nearly two years stuck in a Louisiana pond system are back at sea thanks to the help of several agencies and volunteers.
According to the Audubon Nature Institute, wildlife observers believe the mother dolphin and her baby were pushed into the pond system near Grand Isle, Louisiana, during Hurricane Ida in late August 2021.
The pond had ample supplies and salinity for the dolphins, the institute said, but there was no path for them to get back to the Gulf of Mexico.
The Audubon Coastal Wildlife Network has been monitoring the pair for more than a year, waiting for the calf to be old enough to move with his mother to open water.
Video posted recently by the Audubon Nature Institute shows a rescue team gently capture the mother and calf and use a van to move them home.
The institute said it’s common for marine mammals and sea turtles to be washed into inland waterways by storm surges and coastal flooding from hurricanes. They can be found for weeks and months after the storm, and most require rescue by trained responders to get them back to their natural habitats.