CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Brennen Nguyen is a Rockport Fishing Guide. He was visiting Aransas Bay on Tuesday when he spotted a swimming crab trap. Except it wasn’t a swimming crab trap, it was a dolphin attached to it, stuck in the crab trap and a white floating device.
âHe was in great distress. He was trying to get rid of the buoy the whole time I was with him, jumping, circling, âNguyen said.
He contacted Texas Game Wardens and the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network who are working together to locate the now lost dolphin.
The Stranding Network said they received another call the day after Nguyen’s call, but they still couldn’t find the dolphin.
âWe launched a team within an hour of their report yesterday and they searched all afternoon and couldn’t locate the dolphin,â said Heidi Whitehead, executive director of the network.
Whitehead said sometimes dolphins get curious when looking at crab traps and sometimes there’s a loose line they can get caught in.
Texas Parks and Wildlife is also contributing to the research and said that in a situation like this, the dolphin could be injured as well.
âTypically it will be fin lacerations. Right now we are seeing images of the dorsal fin where the buoy and line are hooked to the dorsal fin, so there is damage there, âsaid Lerrin Johnson, a County Game Ranger. San Patricio.
The Texas State Aquarium is also helping find the dolphin and said there is a difference between training dolphins in their facilities and locating one in the wild.
âThe animal that is sort of in question right now has not been conditioned to some of the different signals that our animal care professionals are training these animals to at the aquarium,â said Jesse Gilbert, director of the operation of the aquarium.
Gilbert said the crab trap was wrapped around his dorsal fin, so they are working with the two agencies to try and locate the dolphin, but they were unsuccessful.
If you see the dolphin, the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network encourages you to call them at 1800-9MAMMAL or 1800-962-6625.