Two dolphins were sighted and filmed in the canals of Venice

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A few weeks ago, two dolphins were seen in the canals of Venice. Completely disoriented, the animals received help from the authorities to find their way back to the sea.

Dolphins near St. Mark’s Square

The city of Venice spans 121 small islands separated by a network of canals and connected by 435 bridges. Among the canals, we find that of Giudecca in which two dolphins were previews March 22, 2021. Marco Busetto, co-owner of a sanitation company, noticed the two animals early in the morning and Luca Folin, one of the employees of this company, filmed them and posted the images on social networks. Quickly, the two dolphins (an adult and a juvenile) attracted attention. It must be said that they were near the famous Saint Mark’s Square. Then they continued on their way to the southern end of the Grand Canal and the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute. While many enjoyed this exceptional event, the fact remains that the dolphins were in danger.

Venice is still subject to significant health restrictions due to the coronavirus. She therefore did not find her many tourists. However, there you have it, the traffic on the channels has gradually increased. The many boats present could have hurt dolphins with their propellers. After spotting the two intruders, Marco Busetto and Luca Folin called for help. The coast guard finally disembarked, accompanied by a team from the Cetacean strandings Emergency Response Team (CERT) from the University of Padua.

Credits: Alexandre Roux / Flickr

A successful rescue operation

Experts found that the two animals were totally lost and swam in all directions. Remember, however, that dolphins usually orient themselves with sound. However, in addition to the presence of many boats, walls were located on two sides of the canal. In total, the cetaceans went around in circles like this for a good two hours. The rescue operation consisted of using nine boats one behind the other. The goal ? Direct the duo of dolphins towards the Lido of Venice. It is a long cordon that leads to the Adriatic Sea. This perilous operation still lasted two and a half hours. Several times a ferry passed through the chain of boats and the dolphins were again disoriented. Finally, the animals have found the way to the sea without issue.

Italian experts studied the images to find out a little more. Dolphins belonged to the species Stenella coeruleoalba, quite common throughout the world and in the Mediterranean, including the Ionian and Tyrrhenian seas as well as the southern Adriatic Sea. Nevertheless, they are rather rare in the northern Adriatic. The last sighting of this species in the canals of Venice dates back four years.

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