Baby dolphin stuck in crab trap off Clearwater Beach rescued, taken to SeaWorld

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A baby dolphin that was stuck in a crab trap off Clearwater Beach on Wednesday was rescued and taken to SeaWorld Orlando for rehabilitation, according to Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

Clearwater law enforcement notified the aquarium of a distressed animal near Pier 60 about noon Wednesday, aquarium spokesperson Kelsy Long told the Tampa Bay Times. A lifeguard cut the calf free from the remains of a crab trap. The baby dolphin was separated from its mother and was showing signs of distress, including abnormal breathing and low energy.

“Our team was out there in hopes that the mom would return for her calf,” Long said. “Unfortunately, that did not happen.”

Instead, authorities began taking the calf in a truck to SeaWorld Orlando for rehabilitation about 3:30 p.m Wednesday, Long said. She thanked beachgoers for their cooperation with the rescue team.

“When you see an animal in distress, make sure you call for help and don’t approach that animal on your own,” Long said.