Nature & Environment
Dolphins help scientists rescue drowning girl
By T.K. Randall
June 1, 2014 · 36 comments
Can dolphins save lives ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Vince Smith
A young girl's life was saved when a school of dolphins lead a research team to her location.
Ocean Conservation Society researcher Maddalena Bearzi had been following a school of dolphins off the coast of Los Angeles when, while feeding near the shore, one of the dolphins suddenly turned around and headed out in to deep water, prompting the others to do the same.
Perplexed by this behavior, the researchers turned their boat and gave chase to see where the animals were going.
After traveling about three miles out in to the open ocean the school stopped swimming and instead started forming a ring around something in the water. As the team got closer they could see to their horror that the object of interest was in fact a human being.
Without delay the researchers moved the boat in to range and brought the person, who turned out to be an 18-year-old girl, up on to the deck. She was hypothermic and close to death, but thanks to the team's efforts they were able to keep her alive long enough to get her back to shore.
So did the dolphins really intentionally lead the researchers out to rescue the girl ?
There has been a lot of debate among scientists as to whether dolphins really are capable of understanding and reacting to someone in trouble. While there are no studies that prove that these remarkable ocean mammals really can act to save lives, there have been so many similar stories over the years that it seems unlikely to be mere coincidence.
Source: National Geographic
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