People continued to play with a friendly dolphin off the Texas coast, prompting rescuers to intervene and remove the dolphin from her home, according to officials.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) fisheries division, «the animal’s health is deteriorating and she requires medical attention.» «The dolphin could die if not given proper medical attention and treatment.» «Our hope is to give this animal every opportunity to be wild and live safely in her environment; intervention was the last resort.»
The Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network, the Texas State Aquarium, and SeaWorld San Antonio collaborated with NOAA to save the injured dolphin. On June 30, she was rescued from the waters off North Padre Island.
«Over the past year, the public’s interest in the animal has grown, with people showing up to swim with, ride, jump on, and pet the dolphin,» NOAA said in June 2021. «These actions may be dangerous, if not fatal, to the dolphin,» the federal agency warned at the time. Officials declared the habituated dolphin’s situation to be «dire» in May 2022, posing a threat to both the animal and the people in the area. «Biologists report the animal is becoming more aggressive, separating children from their parents in the water, and isolating swimming pets from their owners,» according to the update. «The dolphin’s increasingly aggressive behavior is due to human interaction.»