Pregnant dolphin released after hook removal surgery in Australia

By Ben Hooper  |  Nov. 29, 2016 at 12:43 PM
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GOLD COAST, Australia, Nov. 29 (UPI) -- Rescuers at Australia's Sea World released a pregnant dolphin into the ocean after it was found hooked to a baited drumline.

Sea World Gold Coast said the dolphin was found Saturday hooked on a baited drumline intended to catch sharks.

"We believe this dolphin is part of a local pod that has learnt to steal food from the baited drumlines, however on this occasion she has managed to hook herself in the mouth," Sea World's Head of Marine Science Trevor Long told 9News. "Unfortunately the hook, which is a large shark hook, was deep within the animal's bottom jaw, so it had to be surgically removed."

Long said veterinarians determined the dolphin is about a month away from giving birth.

"It was of concern that we get this animal back out into the environment as quickly as we can so that she can have her bub in a very natural way," he said. "Everything has gone exceptionally well."

A video of the dolphin's release Tuesday off Gold Coast's Main Beach was posted to Facebook by Sea World.

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