Human chain helps 'lost' dolphins escape from St. Pete canal

A dolphin pod was in need of directions in St. Petersburg, and with the help of a human chain, they made it safely out of a canal Tuesday morning, wildlife officials say.

Two adult dolphins and two calves were swimming in a canal for the last few days near 4th Street North and 78th Avenue. Marine wildlife experts, including those with NOAA and the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, created the "human chain" to guide the dolphins out and away from the canal, explained Michelle Kerr, a spokesperson with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

She said they appeared to be healthy, but the dolphins perceived an overpass as a barrier, and that's why they, initially, didn't leave the area. Eventually, they swam underneath the bridge and toward Riviera Bay. 

"We have no idea, acoustically, what this bridge is doing for them…but it was enough they obviously didn't want to leave after passing through it," explained Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission biologist Andy Garrett.

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It's remains unknown how the dolphins ended up in the canal in the first place.

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